From Exhaustion to Empowerment: How to Alleviate Patient Burnout in Healthcare
American healthcare falls short compared to other developed nations
Despite boasting the highest per capita healthcare expenditure among developed nations, the United States falls short in achieving comparable health outcomes for patients, evident in its lower life expectancy. Adding to this challenge, Americans often deal with prolonged waiting times to schedule appointments, excessive paperwork, inconvenient and time-consuming insurance calls, and long in-office waiting times. Amidst these challenges, there’s a growing sense of frustration and patient burnout, especially among Americans who pay a premium for healthcare but remain dissatisfied with the quality of care they’re receiving.
According to a recent survey, 43% of Americans expressed dissatisfaction with their healthcare system. In line with this sentiment, a poll conducted by the Associated Press revealed that a significant majority of U.S. adults are discontent with the level of medical care they receive. Only a mere 12% of respondents considered healthcare to be managed “extremely” or “very” effectively.
Improving the patient experience can help resolve healthcare burnout
The concerning issue of patient burnout is exacerbated by the growing demand for medical care among Americans. With 60% of U.S. adults facing chronic diseases and around 10% of the population lacking health insurance, the situation has become even more pressing.
In a recent webinar “Automation is Critical for Patients and Your Healthcare Organization,” John Lynn, Founder and Chief Editor of Healthcare IT Today, explained that, “In healthcare, we took patients for granted for a long time. Well, now patients have a lot more options, so we need to provide a better patient experience. We need to provide effective care of course, but now they want the care to go with the experience and that experience spans so many areas, including what happens in the hospital, including what happens when they schedule an appointment, including what happens in their revenue cycle experience. How do they pay for their actual visit? All of that is demanding more from people and we have less staff to do it.”
Technology is key to achieving transformation in healthcare
How can we effectively change the brand of healthcare from burdensome to streamlined and enjoyable? This strategic shift recognizes that many view technology, specifically automation, as the key to achieving this transformation. With today’s technology, “The data is there where we could do something with it,” John explained, “now we can create that personalized payment experience or that personalized check-in experience that understands more about the patient or that care plan.”
Automation has the potential to rescue the healthcare industry from the challenges of patient and staff burnout by streamlining manual tasks. Additionally, it holds the capacity to:
- Minimize errors
- Increase revenue
- Improve interdepartmental workflows
- Facilitate efficient and accurate treatments
- Do more with less human capital (staff)
“If we don’t implement automation that is more precise and can provide more precise care and more customized care at scale to all of our patient populations,” John highlighted, “then you’re causing a different harm.”
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“Chronic Diseases in America.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Dec. 2022, www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/chronic-diseases.htm.
Ducharme, Jamie. “Patient Burnout Is a Simmering Public Health Crisis.” Time, 27 Feb. 2023, time.com/6257775/patient-burnout-health-care/.
Park, Alice. “How Covid-19 Is Lowering Life Expectancies around the World.” Time, 17 Oct. 2022, time.com/6222562/covid-19-life-expectancy-drop/.
Seitz, Amanda. “Americans Give Health Care System Failing Mark: AP-Norc Poll.” AP News, 12 Sept. 2022, apnews.com/article/covid-health-medication-prescription-drug-costs-drugs-63b342945f9b6ab3ce0ed3920deb935a.
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