Cisco Canada Blog

Hybrid Work Technologies Help Healthcare Workers Tap Resources and Reduce Burnout

July 19, 2022

Healthcare workers have been struggling with burnout for years. Too often, the only solution they see available is to quit their jobs, which results in their former coworkers having to deal with even more overwhelming workloads and perpetuating the cycle of burnout. Healthcare organizations are now empowering their workers with hybrid work technologies and opportunities to ease some of that burden.

In March of 2022, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) warned that Canada’s health system was on life support and that “health workers across the country were sounding the alarm that Canada’s health care system is collapsing.” Along with exhaustion and burnout inflicted by the pandemic, “health care workers now face both massive system backlogs and a shortage of colleagues to cope with demands.”

The CMA also recommended that “the health system must be re-imagined to respond to the needs of patients in an aging society, and that health care environments must be transformed to be responsive to workers within it.”

Since the pandemic began, 18% of healthcare workers have left their jobs, citing burnout as one of the top reasons. And four out of five say a shortage of medical professionals has impacted them. The CMA reports that nearly 46% of physicians in Canada are considering reducing their clinical work in the next two years.

The reasons for this burnout and attrition are complex, yet we can all play a role in helping to improve the situation.

Patients can show more kindness and tolerance, and both technology companies and healthcare organizations must – as the CMA recommends – “re-imagine” how healthcare can function.

A solution to burnout

Hybrid work technologies that enable services like telehealth and virtual meetings came to the rescue during the pandemic when patients and healthcare workers alike had significant reasons for not meeting in person. Technology adoption that might otherwise have taken years saw mass adoption in months.

Virtual technologies do more than address patients’ need for medical assistance without going to a medical facility. These technologies also allow healthcare workers to easily communicate with each other and tap medical experts in other locations. Team meetings, which can be critical for morale and quality of care, are now more accessible thanks to virtual technologies that allow workers to be where they need to be.

Healthcare workers can securely access patient information as needed, reach out to colleagues for input, and access mental health assistance from anywhere, anytime.

Providing flexibility

Hybrid work in healthcare reduces frustration and burnout among healthcare workers by allowing flexibility in how they work. Healthcare workers face the same problems as everyone else — and then some. They have families to protect, they have children who were out of school for months during the height of the pandemic, and they still have to quarantine at home now and then based on potential exposure.

With telehealth and virtual meetings, healthcare workers (like the rest of us) can continue doing their jobs and ensure their coworkers are not overwhelmed by understaffing. The right technology can provide secure, compliant, and data-driven patient care no matter where the healthcare worker or patient is located.

Mobile healthcare

Hybrid work allows healthcare organizations to take advantage of opportunities to empower their teams to do their job anytime and anywhere — solving problems on the fly.

A nurse visiting a patient in their home can access physicians virtually for critical input, and a hospital no longer needs to be a physical place. A bus or van set up as a clinic can travel to where help is required, reducing strain on the medical system. Physicians are empowered to attend to patients in multiple locations from wherever they most need to be.

What’s required to deliver optimal solutions

The key to creating an optimal hybrid work environment is having the right technology in place. There’s no room for unreliable WiFi or complicated apps that hinder simple and secure communications. Decision-makers must keep three things in mind:

  • Budget: Investment in hybrid technologies should be a priority in planning for the future of any business, and the right technologies will support the growth and evolution of a healthcare organization. Decision-makers must follow a financial route that’s flexible and meets budget requirements.
  • Security: The healthcare industry deals with a tremendous amount of sensitive personal information, and assuring the security of that data is paramount to the success of every healthcare organization. The technology selected must meet the highest standards for data security.
  • People: First, the needs of the people who will be using the technologies that are put in place must be considered carefully. Second, to make optimal technology decisions, having the right experts on board is critical to ensuring the right solutions are selected to support future success.

When designing a strategy for the future of your healthcare business, don’t go it alone. Tap experts who have helped countless health organizations find the right solutions that work with their current systems. Explore the status of the healthcare industry and the technologies that power the future of healthcare.

Cisco is here to help you find the right solutions. Hybrid work is not a one-size-fits-all set of tools. Let our experts help you make the best technology decisions for your business.

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