Dealing with Clinical Staff Burnout – How UptimeHealth Helps Reduce Turnover

Dealing with Clinical Staff Burnout – How UptimeHealth Helps Reduce Turnover

In every clinical facility setting, burnout is often the boogeyman in the room. Healthcare staff typically have extremely busy workdays, even without the inconvenience of a global pandemic. As a result, workloads and tasks must be managed carefully if healthcare staff will lead productive, satisfied workplace lives.

However, with the recent challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and an increasing global need for intensive healthcare, burnout has become a real threat for healthcare providers. Recent research by Mental Health America (MHA) indicates that American healthcare personnel are experiencing burnout at a higher rate, with 76% reporting severe exhaustion and burnout, and 93% confessing to acute stress at work.

Knowing the potential cascading effects that clinical staff burnout can produce in healthcare settings – from failing patient care to reduced professionalism – it is important that providers look critically at ways to combat the problem of burnout. Are there strategies you can implement to keep your key employees fresh and reduce practice manager burnout? What options are available to keep your healthcare facility manager and the staff working under them satisfied and productive?

One available strategy is to help them manage their compliance and administrative tasks better through the use of software, like UptimeHealth’s healthcare-focused task, asset, and log management platform. When your staff know they can tick off checklists, make their reports, and file all necessary logs in one convenient, integrated location, they will feel more accomplished and less overwhelmed by their workload. Furthermore, the management will be able to evaluate operational performance far more quickly than reviewing every paper in every binder in a facility.

What is clinical staff burnout?

Seattle-based clinical psychologist, Dr. Alisa Burpee, describes burnout as “physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding or stressful work.” In the healthcare setting, it may be characterized by feelings of acute stress or exhaustion that affect overall work output of healthcare personnel.

Burnout is typically associated with feelings of disillusionment about work, a failing sense of accomplishment, or even jaded attitudes towards the work one is doing. At best, this can result in an overall feeling of tiredness at work and at worst, it can lead the affected individuals to lose all sense of value for the work they do.

As would be expected, this can be a very dangerous phenomenon in a healthcare setting. Healthcare providers, big and small, play a terribly important role in securing the life and health of individuals, and the wider society. Burned out doctors, nurses, biomedical technicians, and other health workers can therefore become, not only dangers to their organization, but also become a source of sloppy work that can create scandalous patient outcomes.

Unfortunately, clinical staff burnout has been occurring with increasing regularity recently, especially on the back of the current global pandemic. A survey conducted by Berxi, a professional liability insurance division of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, found that, between 2019 and 2020, a troubling 84% of clinical staff reported feeling mildly burned out from work. A further 18% reported feeling totally burned out, a significant change from the previous year, and, alarmingly, 1 in 3 admitted that they have been making mistakes at work.

Why does staff burnout occur?

Burnout can be a result of various stressors which can be caused by a variety of work and non-work related factors. However, COVID-19 and the related spike in clinical workloads has emerged as a significant event.

In the MHA survey, which included more than 1,100 healthcare personnel from all over the US, some of the biggest stressors included worry about exposing their loved ones to the disease, uncertainty about when things will return to normal, and lack of quality time for themselves and their loved ones. Another important stressor was the increased workload they had to deal with.

Simply put, clinical staff have been facing a deluge of unprecedented events that are taxing their ability to cope at work. The Berxi study indicated that roughly 48% have considered quitting their job, changing careers, or retiring, and a similar number have stated their mental health has suffered as a result.

The uncomfortable, and unavoidable, conclusion is that if healthcare providers do not find ways to deal with clinical staff burnout, they risk falling standards of patient care and significant levels of turnover, which will lead to shortage in skilled clinical staff – an outcome we simply cannot afford in the midst of a global pandemic.

How can UptimeHealth help you deal with burnout and turnover?

At UptimeHealth, we understand the challenges of running a healthcare center and the imperative to keep tasks current, logs updated, and reports cleanly filed. No matter the size of their operation or how long they have been in business, every healthcare provider can benefit from better workflows and easier workloads.

Through our task management and log management platform, we help these organizations collate, tackle, report, and manage all of their administrative tasks in one simple, easily-accessible location. Due to the constant need to update patient statuses, stay on top of compliance, and generally keep things ticking over, healthcare centers are often constrained to find a variety of solutions to deal with these recurrent tasks.

Some get by with using large paper binders that are no sooner opened than they become filled up, which must then be moved into inconvenient storage. But too often, finding the right binders can be incredibly time-consuming, and the overall manpower and financial resources involved in maintaining these binders are not often worth it. We find that the average healthcare facility will spend about $650 a year on the paper and supplies needed for manual logs. This cost adds up over time, and when applied across multiple facilities, it emerges as a largely unnecessary expense, especially in the face of better alternatives.

With UptimeHealth, organizations can instead spare the expense of unwieldy paper binders, save time on the process of keeping up with these tasks, and most importantly, give their staff the tools they need to reduce their workload and avoid burnout. Here’s how we accomplish this:

  • A single integrated platform: UptimeHealth provides a single resource point from which healthcare centers can manage all of their administrative tasks. From accreditation upkeep and monitoring of staff performance to medical device management, logs, and overall compliance, we allow you to condense all of your reporting and tasks into a single source of truth.
  • Federated access: Even better, UptimeHealth has universal access capability, meaning your staff do not have to sit at their desks before they can update their tasks. UptimeHealth was originally created for cell phone use, giving your staff the ability to check off tasks as they move around the facility. This gives them maximum flexibility and eliminates the need to carry around or update unwieldy paper binders.
  • Simplified audit: Running a single healthcare center is enough work. Now multiply all that work by 2, 10, or 100 centers and it’s easy to see how practice manager burnout can occur. UptimeHealth gives facility and practice managers the tools to see where their staff are on daily/weekly/monthly tasks, receive notifications about potential issues, and give directives for corrective actions, all on the same platform.
  • Digital logs: Any of the logs your staff would normally input manually can now be filled digitally on UptimeHealth from any phone, iPad or desktop. Managers can pull reports on these logs and monitor staff remotely to ensure they are tracking all relevant information. In addition, they can electronically sign off on documents with a timestamp, thereby creating a clear record of when the log was completed and by who. Managers can track logs by facility and maintain a master list of logs from the moment they start using the platform.

With UptimeHealth, everything becomes easier, including compliance and audits. In fact, auditors will love to pull logs randomly from UptimeHealth’s system so they can see how your staff are staying compliant. And the best thing is: it won’t cost your staff a single second of their time compared to the effort of locating and sorting manual logs.

UptimeHealth provides you with a simple administrative process that saves your staff and managers time and effort, while reducing their workload and the possibility of burnout.

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