Clinical workforce technology includes any tech-enabled solutions designed to impact clinicians’ workflows and improve efficiency. Although technology’s implementation sometimes causes unintended effects, such as increased documentation burden after the implementation of EHRs, the purpose of clinical workforce technology is to make clinicians’ lives easier and their work better.
Technology geared towards clinicians usually falls into two main buckets:
Leaders need technology to address healthcare's most pressing challenges - the workforce crisis. The crisis is a result of a vicious cycle: Narrow margins make it difficult to prioritize investments in the workforce. Increasing administrative and cognitive burden lead to burnout and moral distress. Clinicians leave, driving a workforce shortage. Provider organizations feel an urgency to fill the gaps, and rely on short-term, costly fixes, like contract labor and overtime pay, that further drain the organization of resources.
The workforce crisis will not end soon. The pandemic only exacerbated tensions in the workforce, and now many clinicians are weighing whether to remain at the bedside or exit healthcare altogether. Leaders can’t hire their way out of this: the labor pool is small and it’s expensive to rely on contract labor. Downstream effects of the workforce crisis, like unsustainable labor costs and a decrease in patient safety and care quality, are costly for health systems—and will only get worse if change doesn’t happen. It’s too expensive to not invest in technology.
There’s untapped potential for technology to change the trajectory of the healthcare workforce. Technology has become increasingly reliable and effective within the last few years; functions that seemed futuristic are now possible today. Now is the time for leaders to take advantage of technological capabilities to support clinicians.
By improving productivity and supporting clinical decision-making, clinicians can benefit from the downstream effects of technology – extending clinical reach and improving the work environment for clinicians. Here are seven ways clinicians can benefit:
Potential benefits of clinical workforce technology:
Advisory Board’s Marissa Goodall and Giorgio Piatti contributed to this research.
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