Burnout and staffing shortages are two of the biggest challenges currently facing the healthcare system, and at this point it doesn’t take another survey to prove that point. The more pressing issue is finding a solution to this well-documented problem, which is what healthcare automation company Notable set out to do with its latest research.
Notable’s State of Automation 2022 Report was based on a survey of over 1,000 US healthcare professionals, and a clear theme emerged in the responses: as workloads continue to increase due to the staffing shortages, health systems looking to grow need to unlock capacity for existing workers to refocus their time on patients.
The key findings echo the sentiment of most medical workforce polls from the last few years:
- 57% of respondents said they are worried they will burn out due to the number of repetitive tasks required in their role.
- 45% of respondents are frustrated with how little time is spent on patient care.
- An average of 58% of staff time is currently spent on repetitive tasks such as data entry and documentation.
The responses also revealed a disconnect in the perception of time spent on repetitive tasks depending on the role, which as likely contributed to the slow relief of this issue:
- 16% of patient-facing staff agree that “90%+ of staff time is spent on repetitive tasks,” while less than 10% of executives believe the same.
- Under 40% of patient-facing staff strongly agree that “their organization is using digital technology effectively,” while 63% of executives agree with the statement.
The report recommends automating away cumbersome administrative tasks like patient intake and registration to help eliminate downstream work. Although this might be an obvious takeaway from a report conducted by an automation company, it’s hard to argue against streamlining repetitive tasks to support overworked employees.
Health systems today are up against some major obstacles to achieving growth, with patient expectations climbing at a time when expenses are inflating just as quickly. Until we see the supply of healthcare workers begin to rise to meet this demand, freeing up the bandwidth of existing staff to let them spend more time with patients seems like a solid step in the right direction.