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Insights at the intersection of tech touch & human touch within healthcare

  • Writer's pictureAshley Dauwer

Combat burnout and labor shortages with a blend of tech and human touch

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is at a turning point.

While jobs in healthcare have always had their unique stressors, there is an alarming increase in the levels of burnout from 30% to 50%, to now 40% to 70%. Not to mention, since the start of the pandemic, a reported 60% to 75% of clinicians have experienced symptoms of exhaustion, depression, sleep disorders, and PTSD.

Combat burnout and labor shortages with a blend of tech and human touch

With burnout on the rise, healthcare professionals are leaving their positions, creating a concerning labor shortage that is rocking the healthcare industry. At the end of last year, there were 11 million unfilled healthcare positions. Looking forward, a recent data analysis found that a critical shortage of an estimated 3.2 million healthcare workers is possible by 2026.

We are at a pivotal juncture. Solving the burnout problem is about more than simply keeping healthcare workers in their jobs. Ultimately, it is about mitigating attrition by reimagining healthcare delivery to pave the way for healthier staffing models, workflows and processes where every individual can reconnect with their passion and purpose – and thrive.

Reimagining Healthcare

Healthcare is experiencing a seismic shift in a number of ways, some of which accelerated as a result of lessons learned during the global pandemic. The “where” and “how” of providing quality, evidence-based care are changing. We’ve seen firsthand how care teams are tackling current challenges by reimagining healthcare and transitioning to virtual care. This shift is opening the door to lasting, positive changes for healthcare professionals and patients alike.

In the commentary below, Scott Pradels and Mike Hatfield, two of Carium’s co-founders, discuss how Carium’s “tech touch” and “human touch” approach is helping our clients address, reduce and prevent burnout and staffing challenges within their own health systems and practices.

Tech Touch: Scott Pradels

When we let technology do what it does best, humans can focus on doing what they do best.

Activities such as blood pressure, glucose or heart rate monitoring were historically a manual process to measure, record and analyze. To obtain readings outside of a medical practice setting, the onus was on the patient to remember to collect the measurement, write it down and bring it to their next appointment.

Today, Carium’s technology provides a seamless, automated intelligent platform that communicates with and engages the patient, as it also records, analyzes and aggregates readings directly from within a patient’s life. Clinicians then have relevant, timely data to inform clinical decision-making, taking the burden of meticulously tracking data off of the care team and allowing them to place their efforts where they’re needed most.

A huge game-changer is the ability for care teams to aggregate and analyze holistic data to gain insight into what types of behaviors are driving better health across their patient population. With this capability, clinicians can determine if:

  • patient populations are on the right track,

  • current engagements are providing improved outcomes,

  • there are better ways to engage a subset of patients.

How Our Tech Touch Combats Burnout and Labor Shortages

When using technology that highlights patients in need, there are more opportunities to intervene before a problem exacerbates into a significant health event, such as an emergency room visit, a trip to urgent care, or readmission to the hospital.

One of our current customers reported that they’ve reduced readmissions after surgery by 50% because they can intervene before a patient heads back to the hospital.

A virtual visit with a patient to improve their current condition versus readmitting them saves many resources, both physical and mental. If you can take care of something virtually, it’ll reduce efforts across the board.

Human Touch: Mike Hatfield

Our “human touch” approach encapsulates how our technology enables healthcare teams to focus on what they do best—genuinely caring for patients who need their attention.

One of the biggest benefits care teams report is the ability to better understand their patients. Using data gleaned from our tech touch, teams gain a more clear view of who their patients are, what matters to them, and what’s going on with them on a real-time basis.

If a care team already possesses a patient’s health information, the time typically spent gathering that data could then be spent having an honest discussion that focuses on the patient. Appointments become less of a medical interrogation and more of a mindful health conversation. I believe this shift in how care teams and patients interact during appointments is powerful.

How Our Human Touch Combats Burnout and Labor Shortages

Having technology in place that enables healthcare workers to provide care from anywhere brings more people into the workforce and promotes a model of care that stems the tide of burnout.

Here’s an example: We’re currently working with a registered nurse who helps patients with hypertension. She recently gave birth so she couldn’t jump into a traditional nursing role. However, because Carium’s virtual care technology allows for a remote, secure patient connection, she can work from her home. Without robust virtual care technology, she would not have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the workforce.

To address burnout, we’ve seen many teams adopt a rotational model. For example, a team member may work on the front lines for a few days of the week where it’s more intense and where they’re much more prone to burnout. But, the other days of the week they can work remotely on the preventative side of care, helping patients manage their chronic conditions in a way that’s not as stressful, but still very meaningful.

Another dimension of human touch is the satisfaction we’ve seen our partners experience. Many people get into healthcare because they genuinely care about helping others, and amid the labor shortages and burnout, they’ve lost sight of their passion.

Virtual care is a motivator, helping healthcare professionals bring renewed energy back into their work. Care teams are re-invigorated through learning new virtual care skills, exploring new staffing models and developing better relationships with patients, all of which are reversing the course of the challenging conditions they face.

A good tool amplifies efforts. For example, a carpenter used to hit nails with a hammer, but once they got a nail gun, the same carpenter could build more walls. Because our tools help to extend care in an automated way, providers can amplify their efforts, helping to reduce burnout and labor shortages.

Need the Right Tool?

Want to discuss how Carium’s virtual care technology can help your organization combat burnout and labor shortages? Let’s talk.


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