May marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Month, a necessary time to address the challenges that so many people living with mental health issues face and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health. This awareness is much needed after over a year of pandemic-related anxiety and depression as well as countless other mental health struggles. The percentage of adults reporting anxiety and/or depressive disorder symptoms jumped a staggering 30% from January of 2019 to January of 2021. While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many across the country, essential workers, in particular, are now facing a mental health crisis after months of overwork, trauma due to the loss of patients, and the threat of personal illness. Given the importance of this month-long awareness event, we wanted to take some time to discuss mental health and the healthcare industry and to examine how hospitals can protect their worker’s mental health.
Even before COVID-19 swept the globe, the healthcare industry already faced high levels of work-related stress. Long hours, overnight shifts, and the trauma associated with losing patients all contributed to mental health struggles. Still, with the added stress of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, these already high levels of stress began to skyrocket. With ICUs across the world running out of beds, PPE beginning to dwindle, and seemingly no end in sight, healthcare workers faced an added fear of becoming infected with the virus and bringing it home to their families. While some stories of what it’s like to care for patients during the last year have begun to surface, many healthcare workers haven’t had time to accurately process or share their experiences. The lasting effects on mental health are sure to remain even after the world has found a new sense of normalcy, but it’s important to recognize the relationship between mental health and the healthcare industry to create a better future for our healthcare workers.
How the healthcare industry can protect worker’s mental health
In order to continue to offer patients the highest quality of care, it is essential that we look out for the mental health of healthcare workers. There are numerous ways that hospitals and practices can accommodate their frontline workers, from support to investing in technology that helps ease day-to-day workloads.
Leaders can help show their teams that they care by simply taking time to ask meaningful questions about rotations, daily experiences, workloads, and more. Oftentimes nurses and other frontline workers feel that they can’t open up because no one will understand what they are going through. By asking meaningful questions, healthcare workers have the opportunity to feel less isolated.
Ensuring proper PPE and safety measures is a must, but staying mindful of shift lengths and time off can help protect healthcare workers’ mental health and prevent future burnout.
Take steps to streamline the workload
Upgrading to Fast Chart’s clinical documentation system not only benefits patients, physicians, and practices, it can also help relieve added tasks on a healthcare worker’s to-do list. Our state-of-the-art technology helps ensure that documentation is completed quickly and accurately the first time, so that patient care is the main priority for your staff.
Contact Fast Chart
Give your staff the tools to increase productivity and efficiency in 2021 without the added stress. Fast Chart offers innovation, transparency, and value to our partners with top-notch outsourced clinical documentation and technology solutions. We work with care organizations, individual practices, and hospitals. If you’re ready to experience the benefits of outsourcing your documentation, call Fast Chart at (919) 477-5152 or request a free quote.