Healthcare worker burnout continues to plague the industry, as 35% of surveyed nurse leaders report low morale as a significant problem. Moreover, 16% believe their occupation has made them emotionally unhealthy, even when they aren’t treating patients. A study from Morning Consult additionally found that, amid the pandemic, around 20% of healthcare workers have quit their jobs, with at least 31% mulling over resignation. Up to 80% report that the resulting shortages have negatively affected their own work and have added stress to their work environment.
While healthcare technology has made great strides in recent years as a means of augmenting worker capabilities and bettering outcomes for patients, it has also shown promise in an adjacent application: compensating for staffing shortages.
For instance, Advocate Aurora Health, a 26-hospital system in the Midwest, used symplr’s workforce management software to address the COVID-19-driven staff tumult. Advocate Aurora implemented a virtual labor pool at the onset of the pandemic, giving nurse leaders the means to request and reassign staff around the clock. This was particularly beneficial when workers tested positive for COVID-19; roughly 5,000 staffers were redirected through the dynamic scheduling protocol to meet escalating patient needs.
There’s no quick or all-encompassing fix to this ongoing crisis, however. Meaningful investment, monetary and otherwise, is required to support health systems and their indispensable staff as well as to keep patient care up to appropriate standards of quality – even beyond the pandemic.