After more than 18 months of excessive workloads, staff shortages and extreme stressors due to COVID-19, exhausted healthcare professionals are fleeing the front line of the pandemic.
So finds a recent study by healthcare job-search site Vivian Health, which found that more than 40% of nurses and ICU workers are considering leaving their role in 2021. Among those who stay, many will do their jobs poorly due to the emotional and physical tolls of professional burnout.
Although they can’t control the spread of COVID-19, hospitals that want to stop the bleeding of essential workers from their payrolls must get serious about finding and fixing the problems that they can control in order to persuade healthcare workers that they’re being heard and taken seriously.
Addressing even the smallest issues, like fixing a copy machine, can make a huge difference for overworked healthcare workers, according to Christina Maslach, a psychologist who studies healthcare burnout
“Little pebbles in your shoe” at work can compound, igniting burnout, she said in an NPR in a recent interview.
“People keep saying, ‘What is the one thing we can do?’ There is no one solution. There are many.”
Cloud computing in healthcare can be one of the many solutions that bring much-needed relief to worn and weary healthcare workers.
Preventing Burnout in Healthcare with Time Study
No matter what business you’re in, time is a precious resource that’s often cannibalized by tedious tasks like data entry and report filing. At most jobs, the consequence of spending too much time on administrative instead of strategic tasks is a dip in sales or a decrease in daily profits. In healthcare, however, every second squandered could be the difference between saving a life and losing one.
That’s why Kishau Rogers created Time Study, a cloud-powered software-as-a-service solution that uses intelligent time tracking to monitor how physicians and healthcare workers spend their hours on the clock. Launched in 2017, it saves physicians and healthcare workers time by getting rid of traditional timesheets and equips hospitals with data they can use to make human-centered decisions that improve patient care.
Time Study calls the latter “time intelligence.” Decision makers can use it to monitor everything from communication to scheduling in order to optimize performance and prevent burnout.
“Many hospitals are using this data to make resource adjustments as they uncover work performance patterns,” Rogers said in an interview with Forbes. “With real-time insights, they can better align resources while meeting quality patient care and evolving compliance mandates around patient care standards and reimbursement.”
To date, more than 40 hospitals have replaced traditional timesheets with Time Study’s cloud-based platform, according to the company. By utilizing automated time submissions, Time Study combines real-time data with machine learning to help healthcare businesses better understand the actions of their workforce.
Leveraging Cloud Computing in Healthcare with Droice Labs
Multiple studies link healthcare professional burnout with lower-quality patient care. Cloud-powered and data-driven solutions can therefore provide lifesaving insights.
To provide critical insights to physicians and researchers, the cloud-based machine learning system Droice Labs uses natural language understanding to aggregate patients’ disparate medical records and forms, along with scientific publications and medical devices from around the world.
“Our machine learning system takes all the data about an individual into account and breaks it down so that a doctor, pharmaceutical scientist or healthcare insurer can understand patients better and faster,” Droice Labs founder and CEO Mayur Saxena, told Forbes.
“Instead of repetitive, disparate one-on-one diagnoses and follow-up care, we’re automating personalized care for a much larger patient population. With shared insights across a large patient population, physicians can chart disease progress and prescribe the best treatment plan. Clinical research into new drugs that took years could be reduced to days or weeks.”
When healthcare professionals experience burnout, they aren’t able to provide the personalized care that patients deserve and need. Through a vertically-integrated, AI-based “disease understanding engine,” Droice works with patient data – including unstructured data in “free text” fields – to match patients with suitable interventions.
This powerful collection of data can help professionals understand what drug treatments are most effective, or analyze what factors contribute to the manifestation of certain diseases in certain populations.
The cloud-powered system automatically compiles global data and insights – an impossible task for overworked physicians and researchers to complete on their own. This approach provides personalized care without monopolizing healthcare professionals’ time.
Personalized Medicine: A Win-Win for Patients, Providers
The ability to save time while providing life-saving information is one of the many reasons that the healthcare cloud computing market is projected to grow by over $33 billion by 2025.
Efficiency and flexibility are key enablers: Studies show that cloud computing gives physicians and researchers the ability to exchange data between disparate systems and that it allows healthcare IT teams to quickly scale to meet increased demands.
That’s crucial because important patient information like doctors’ references, prescriptions, insurance information and test results often is stored across disparate information systems. With patient consent, cloud-stored electronic medical records compile all data in a single centralized location for easy access.
“We’re now on the cusp of realizing the dream of truly personalized medicine,” Saxena wrote in an article for Forbes. “Delivering this dream will require extensive collaboration among stakeholders across the healthcare industry, with a firm focus on and commitment to the patients they serve. Now is the time. The patients have been waiting long enough.”
And for that matter, so have the healthcare workers.