Reprioritizing the healthcare workforce: Three ways technology can help you care for your caregivers


March 7, 2024By Marcus Mossberger | Future of Work Strategist

As healthcare adapts to changing conditions (pandemics, population shifts, and people shortages) it is also attempting to adopt contemporary methods and advanced technologies to continuously improve quality, outcomes, cost, and the experience of the consumer. While patient-centric strategies have dominated for decades, the ability to deliver on the pledge of medicine in the future will require a new orientation around the individuals doing the delivery of care. Just as value-based care emphasizes preventing illness versus treating it, modern healthcare organizations need to focus on maintaining the health of their employee population versus responding when a crisis occurs. As healthcare organizations navigate the challenges of the current landscape, they must ask themselves a crucial question: How to effectively utilize technology to provide enhanced support and empowerment to the frontline workforce? 

1. Simplification through healthcare workforce technology 

A startling revelation from a National Nursing Workforce Survey revealed that 800,000 RNs (registered nurses) and 184,000 LPNs (licensed practical nurses) indicate they are likely to leave nursing by 2027, citing workload, fatigue, and burnout. New technologies can automate many of the administrative, transactional tasks associated with care delivery as well as the ongoing operational maintenance associated with hiring, educating, scheduling, and sustaining the workforce. When clinical and operational systems are connected, data can be utilized to ensure fair and equitable nurse-patient assignments are driven by clinical documentation. By consolidating vendor relationships and giving people access to information in the flow of work, the orchestration and optimization of resources (whether they be human, supplies, or financial) reduces the cognitive burden of working across different disciplines and departments.    

2. Empowering employees with flexibility and growth

As healthcare embraces the demands of consumerism, the industry would be well-served to apply the same level of effort to their employees as they do to their patients. This equates to giving them choices. Giving people options about where and when they work can significantly improve their satisfaction. Healthcare Workforce Management technology can give front-line staff the control they crave. It also verifies that they possess the necessary credentials and permissions for each unit and shift. In addition, new tools empower individuals to manage their career journey as they seek to grow and change over time. This in turn helps improve healthcare employee satisfaction and retention. 

3. Technology's role in centering focus on what truly matters

Just like genomic medicine holds great promise to provide individualized health care, evidence-based HR technology can ensure everyone in the organization is living up to their greatest potential. Healthcare organizations are turning to advanced analytics and behavioral data to connect people with the work they were born to do. By going a step further and personalizing each person’s daily experience, they enhance productivity, reduce turnover, and improve HCAHPS scores. 


According to Paul Spiegelman, author of Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way You Lead, "Hospitals have missed the point that the best way to improve the patient experience is to build better engagement with their employees, who will then provide better service and health care to patients." Counterintuitively, the more we embrace technology, the more human this experience can become.

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