Strategies to Optimize Time and Reduce Healthcare Burnout with AI 

Updated on May 13, 2024

The complexity of the U.S. healthcare system continues to have a rippling impact on patients and healthcare professionals. Coming out of the 2020 pandemic, there were high levels of reported burnout (as reported by a 2022 USA Today and Ipsos poll). At the time, about half of healthcare workers who responded to the poll reported feeling “burned out” and nearly a quarter reported that they were likely to leave the healthcare field entirely in the near future.  

And concerns of widespread burnout have only continued to grow in healthcare.  

More recently, as the adoption of online patient portals has become standard, there has been news on the increasing administrative burden on healthcare employees and staff, contributing to increased feelings of burnout.  

This increased administrative burden has led to some offices and health systems opting toward additional support for administrative services. According to one Washington Post article, the University of Washington explained in a June blog post for patients that billing had been initiated for email responses because the 500,000 emails their doctors received in 2019 had skyrocketed to 1.4 million in 2022.  

To match the increasing volume of communication, nurses and other healthcare professionals are taking on more duties than their jobs traditionally entail, leading doctors to consider charging fees for tasks like signing patient documents and answering emails in an effort to best optimize and prioritize their time.   

In the midst of the data deluge, there’s a critical need to optimize a healthcare professional’s time in order to provide superior patient experience and internal employee support and empowerment. Artificial intelligence is emerging as a tool healthcare organizations can use to mitigate feelings of administrative burnout and optimize medical professionals’ time by efficiently identifying and monitoring the top reasons for patient outreach, redirecting administrative strain and effectively deploying resources. These tools have emerged as helpful tools for healthcare leaders to understand the realities facing their workforce and enable them to be responsible in activating training, process development, and organizational support.  

Tackling the Current Healthcare Data Deluge with AI 

Healthcare professionals balance a tricky combination of administering patient care alongside business needs required to navigate a complex healthcare system. Efforts to ease the burden on patients (such as the introduction of online portals) had the consequence of increasing the burden on healthcare providers with more channels of communication, added administrative functions and regular clinical care. This draws a diverse set of questions, inquiries, and needs which add additional pressure to the deluge of data coming from phone calls, emails, chats, and other online channels. 

AI is emerging as a way to solve these current challenges faced by healthcare professionals daily. Particularly, AI is powerful because it can provide analysis of unstructured conversation data (recorded patient conversations coming in via phone, chat, etc.). AI can analyze every conversation and surface insights healthcare leaders can use to inform strategic business decisions, identify personnel training needs, recognize pain points along the patient journey and more. These tools provide opportunities to optimize time, which in turn, helps alleviate feelings of burnout and stress.  

AI opens doors for healthcare professionals to:  

  • Pinpoint areas of improvement by analyzing and aggregating large volumes of data. 
  • Improve patient experiences with more strategic, informed decision-making. 
  • Enable automation and more efficient workflows to support administrative tasks. 

Ways AI Helps Optimize Healthcare Professionals’ Time 

By analyzing conversation data, AI can enhance the patient experience and provide relief against burnout as medical professionals manage various administrative requests and tasks alongside patient care. AI is helping to:  

Identify top reasons patients are reaching out: A critical first step in re-evaluating processes is understanding what is triggering communication in the first place. AI can analyze and summarize high volumes of conversations and report on topics, frequency, and where time is being spent. This offers critical feedback on opportunities to automate processes or create new messaging to inform patients about frequently asked questions.  

Redirect administrative strain: AI can help automate or streamline processes and procedures in place. Generative AI capabilities, for example, could assist in summarizing communication coming from patients so nurses and healthcare professionals can optimize their time responding to inquiries. Additionally, AI can assist in establishing more automated workflows or helping route inquiries to the right point of contact.  

Effectively deploy resources: Healthcare practitioners are best at providing patient care. And AI is a tool to help optimize time and resources. By understanding current sources of friction or the most frequent inquiries being made, AI can be an important tool to monitor progress over time, redirect support as needed, and help strategically focus process improvement and support needs.  

Many healthcare leaders are looking at the big picture or for a silver bullet. Often, they can miss what’s directly impacting their people on the front lines. Having access to conversation data can show the challenges healthcare professionals are facing, pinpoint sources of stress and burnout, and guide in efficiently prioritizing their time and resources. 

Amy Brown Headshot 1 copy
Amy Brown
Founder and CEO at Authenticx

Amy Brown is the founder and CEO of Authenticx – the software platform that analyzes and activates patients’ voices at scale to reveal transformational opportunities in healthcare. Amy built her career as a rising executive in the healthcare industry, during which time she advocated for underserved populations, led and mobilized teams to expand healthcare coverage to thousands of Indiana residents, and learned the nuance of corporate operations. In 2018, Amy decided to leverage her decades of industry experience to tackle healthcare through technology. She founded Authenticx with the mission to bring the authentic voice of the patient into the boardroom and increase positive healthcare outcomes.