Since the introduction of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 30% of physicians have reported feelings of burnout. The effects of burnout are dangerous for doctors and patients, so action must be taken to reduce the stress within the healthcare system so medical establishments can run smoothly and effectively.
Luckily, evolving technology is providing doctors with many tools that are beginning to make things a bit easier. Let’s talk about this emerging tech and how it can help our heroic doctors and nurses on the front lines.
The Effects of Physician Burnout
There are many signs that a physician is experiencing burnout, and they could include anything from emotional exhaustion, including irritation and anxiety, to physical sickness. Many doctors may even begin to feel like they aren’t making a difference or practicing good medicine, and that way of thinking can only lead to more issues.
Even worse are the effects that burnout can have on the patients that are in the physician’s care. A doctor or nurse who is overly tired or mentally exhausted could falter and more easily make mistakes when caring for, diagnosing, and prescribing medication for their patients. If the hospital doesn’t take action or the doctor doesn’t acknowledge that they have an issue, their burnout will only get worse.
Luckily, emerging tech can help.
Involving Patients With Helpful Tech
One of the reasons why healthcare burnout can occur is because the medical professionals are simply taking on too much, and they don’t have the support they require. The good news is that several innovations in technology can even out the burden and make life easier for both doctors and patients. One such innovation is telehealth.
Patients can help to make the work of doctors much easier by scheduling appointments via telehealth platforms instead of going into hospitals and clinics. When physicians work via a telehealth portal, they can set their schedules and enjoy a better work/life balance since they can also take appointments from home. Telehealth sessions are also typically shorter than an in-person visit, so the medical professional can better plan their day without rushing from room to room.
Another form of technology that is eliminating stress and improving efficiency in the healthcare industry is point-of-care tech, which is a way that parents can check their stats at home. A great example is if a patient has diabetes. With a portable monitor, they can check their blood sugar levels from anywhere instead of needing to go to the hospital if they are feeling ill. This would reduce the number of patients in the hospital at any given time, which will make the physician’s life easier.
It is important to point out that doctors and nurses can also utilize wearable technology while they are making their rounds. A watch that provides medical stats can keep the physician up to date on their heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, and more so they can recognize when they are starting to show symptoms of burnout and they can rectify the situation accordingly.
Electronic Health Records
In the past, for a doctor to understand a patient’s condition and provide the proper resolution, they had to go through complex paper charts, and if the chart they needed was not in the office, then they had to request to have it sent over. This process added stress to the job because physicians often did not have the information they needed to properly care for their patients, and without that data, it was possible to provide a delayed resolution or the wrong type of care.
Much of that anxiety has been resolved by electronic health records, which are typically referred to as EHRs. Essentially this system has all of the patient’s information available at the touch of a button so the physician can have immediate access and act accordingly. On top of the care aspect, EHRs also reduce the need for excess paperwork, so doctors get to spend more time helping their patients and less time stressing over staying late to complete administrative tasks.
While electronic records have been available since the 1970s, they are finally providing the benefits for which they were intended and physicians are feeling much better knowing they are around.
As you can see, when properly utilized, technology can make a big impact on healthcare burnout, even during a global pandemic. Medical offices and hospitals would be smart to implement this tech today.