DATA, ANALYTICS & AUTOMATION for better healthcare

The ripple effect of burned-out nurses and what we can do about it

In the 27 years Katie Oliva, Principal Healthcare Consultant at Amitech Solutions, has been a registered nurse, a lot has changed in the healthcare provider space. There have been massive overhauls, like transitioning from flowcharts to electronic health records, and the adoption of automated medication dispensing systems such as Omnicell and Pyxis, to ensure a safer and more secure medication administration process. Even basic things patients today come to expect when they visit the hospital, were at one point in Katie’s career, more complicated.

“Think about IV pumps being connected to call lights,” says Katie. “There aren’t little bells anymore. When the IV runs out of fluid, the nurses’ station is notified. This is a form of automation.” Automation in healthcare has been around for decades, “but we haven’t necessarily called it automation,” says Katie.  “So many things have been simplified because of it. And, so many more things can be simplified too.” With critical issues plaguing the healthcare system right now, like staffing shortages and financial turbulence, finding ways to simplify is urgent.

A recent Becker’s article states that 50% of those surveyed are experiencing nursing burnout, and much of that stress is attributed to administrative burden. “From a staffing perspective, burnout is the biggest issue right now,” says Katie. “Burnout leads to financial issues. Burnout leads to employee engagement issues. It leads to patient quality issues. Solving burnout is one of the most important things we can do.”

Katie, like so many other people who enter the healthcare profession, did so because she wanted to make a difference and help people. But when time and energy meant to be spent directly with patients is siphoned to administrative tedium, this is when passionate healthcare professionals check out.

According to Becker’s, nurses report spending 15% of their time on charting and documentation and another 6% of their time tracking down things they need to get their jobs done. Many nurses find that Affordable Care Act-era documentation systems add to their workloads. “Staff want to be at the bedside, not doing the administrative tasks they dislike,” adds Katie.

This is why adopting an automation program can be so transformative for hospital systems. “By having intelligent automation solutions in place, it helps financials, it helps employee engagement. It helps burnout, patient engagement, quality of care, and patient safety. These things are intertwined. If we can affect all of it with one solution, why wouldn’t we?”

To talk to Katie about the importance and urgency of intelligent automation and analytics in healthcare systems, click here to get in touch.