Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, health clinics were experiencing staffing issues and healthcare workforce understaffing has only been exacerbated now due to the virus. Because of COVID-19 we have encountered loss of life, staff burnout and unprecedented turnover rates. More patients are returning in-person to clinics yet the staffing has not improved. With variants of COVID-19 still keeping clinics very busy, healthcare agencies are looking for help. It is a critical business issue to be unable to fill job openings. Thankfully, that can be aided with technology. Healthcare providers can alleviate staffing shortages, better support staff and reduce turnover rates with an Electronic Health Record (EHR) and patient self services.
Healthcare IT has a positive impact on practice management, patient care and more efficient use of staff. A great EHR system can streamline workflow, reduce time spent on administrative tasks and give staff more time to focus on patients. This will reduce the stress of your healthcare workers and relieve them from having to work extra hours. When health clinics are already understaffed, finding ways to have limited staff work smarter and not harder is more important than ever.
Not all EHR systems are created equal, and it is important to shop for and evaluate EHRs to find one that truly does meet your needs to lighten employee workload. Prevent your staff from having to use multiple tools or from double entering data with an EHR that is interoperable with other systems you use. This is very important to combating digital burnout and can be a part of becoming a trauma informed organization. When used properly, a great EHR can automate as many tasks as possible to improve staff efficiency, information accuracy and patient care. It can also protect your healthcare workers from undue stress.
Putting more control into patients’ hands can also reduce staff workload. Contactless Patient Experience apps, patient portals, self check-in, online forms and billing services, etc that are embedded within your EHR can remove administrative burden on healthcare staff. If there is a shortage of staff available for the check-in desk, it helps to have patients do these tasks themselves. Many patients want the convenience and shorter wait times associated with self check-in anyway. Solve two problems at once with these services.
It is possible to alleviate staffing shortages with an EHR and Patient Self Services. Interoperable healthcare IT technologies and putting more control in the hands of patients is the solution to supporting limited staff. As we stay committed to improving patient care while working towards recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we can rely on these technologies to aid us.