How Automation is Reducing Staff Angst and Turnover
By Hari Prasad – CEO of Yosi Health
Burnout and fatigue which were a major cause of concern during the pandemic is continuing to have significant impact on staffing and retention within the healthcare industry. When surveyed, healthcare administrative staff freely admit that the onerous chore of endlessly completing burdensome, repetitive administrative tasks ranks as the top reason for burnout and job dissatisfaction at their care centers.
If this weren’t concerning enough, also at play are larger socio-economic forces such as record high inflation resulting in wage hike pressure, over a million retiring nurses, and a tight labor market, all of which combine to make it challenging to retain existing staff and identifying replacements or necessary new hires.
In fact, several recent studies indicate the healthcare industry has lost about 20% of its workforce over the past two years, including 30% of nurses, many of whom are ageing out of the system and not being matched by new recruits.
The problem is so widespread that, late in May 2022, the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA issued a sobering advisory “sounding the alarm” about the impact of healthcare worker burnout, calling it a “threat to the nation’s healthcare infrastructure.”
One of the top recommendations the Surgeon General’s advisory made was to “transform workplace culture to empower health workers and be responsive to their voices and needs.”
The good news is recent advances in technology have allowed for the automation of a significant number of administrative tasks the front office workers identify as most draining. One roadblock to the implementation of these processes continues to be their slow adoption rate by the healthcare sector still stressed after being forced to incorporate safety advances like tele-health. The healthcare ecosystem has always been slow to change administrative procedures. However, the priorities of our new world are pushing them to move more quickly and embrace the efficiencies offered via automation.
Solutions such as patient-intake platforms can relieve office workers of the duties they find most taxing.
These platforms allow healthcare practices to streamline their traditional, onerous, time-consuming processes and free their labor resources from tedium to focus on improving operations and the all-important patient experience. Automated processes reduce the electronic health record errors, which typically occur during human transcribing, and make administrative workflows much more efficient.
In automating patient intake, practice staff are relieved of many administrative tasks, everything from collecting requisite paperwork and payments, including contact information, insurance cards, consent forms, and other important patient data. All that is done by the patient, on their own tablet or phone, before the patient even shows up for their appointment.
Ultimately, a comprehensive patient intake platform gives healthcare providers the opportunity to record more complete and accurate patient data which elevates the quality of care.
At Yosi Health we’ve found that:
- Mobile patient intake and registration systems get up to 90% of patients fully registered prior to arrival, drastically cutting down on the paperwork that needs to be done at the office.
- Practices report a 45% reduction in patient no-shows when they implement an appointment self-scheduling and notification system
- Our clients reported a 20% increase in patient payment collection rates when they implemented our automatic patient payment and billing system.
All of this has helped administrative staffs “get back” their day and feel more in control of their time management at the office.
Improving the administrative staff experience in the long-term will depend on a close collaboration between providers, technology, and the patients. From what we have seen at Yosi Health, the vast majority of patients are already on board with managing their provider interactions remotely and pre-arrival from their phones, computers or tablets. It’s how they interact with almost every other aspect in their lives.
Given the gravity of the situation, as pointed out by the recent Surgeon General’s advisory, healthcare practices are more motivated and invested in and jumping on board alleviating the pressure that’s affecting their vital front office staffs.
It’s promising that healthcare practices are now adopting automation more rapidly.