Nurses are some of our most essential healthcare workers. However, there is a serious shortage of nurses in healthcare organizations. This is due in part to the increasing demand for healthcare in combination with a shortage of available openings in nursing schools. Additionally, nurse burnout and low job satisfaction are making some nurses consider leaving the field. So, what can be done to increase job satisfaction and prevent nurse burnout? And can technology play a role?
What Is Nurse Burnout?
Nurse.org defines nurse burnout as “a physical, mental, and emotional state caused by chronic overwork and a sustained lack of job fulfillment and support.” According to the 2019 National Nursing Engagement Report, over 15% of nurses reported feelings of burnout.
Nurses experiencing feelings of burnout may have a variety of issues or symptoms. The three top symptoms of nurse burnout are the same as the three key symptoms of physician burnout, however, nurse burnout is also unique to nurses and their experiences. The key symptoms of nurse burnout are feelings of:
- Emotional exhaustion
- Become “numb” or disconnecting from your emotions towards patients and peers
- Negative attitudes and a lack of empathy
- Lack of personal accomplishment
How Can Technology Help?
In an article in Healthcare Business Today, writer Toni Laracuente, RN, BSN sheds some light on how technology can help nurses do their job and prevent nurse burnout. Nurse burnout is caused in part by frustration with tedious administrative workloads they have in addition to caring for patients and dealing with the stress that includes. Frustration may be caused by the technology they use to do their jobs on a daily basis. Namely, issues with electronic health records (EHRs) contribute to nursing burnout.
Electronic health records are used to collect and record patient health information including diagnosis and treatment of conditions. EHRs can be exchanged between different offices and different healthcare providers. Nurses have to work with EHRs frequently. If nurses are required to use inefficient EHRs, their productivity is limited even if they are putting time on the job. They are doing more than they should have to in regard to documentation and administrative work. That takes them away from working from patients and can hurt nurse-patient relationships. It can also harm patient experiences.
So if EHR technology is a contributing factor to nurse burnout, then it stands to reason that using improved EHR systems could help prevent the problem. Nurses should be a part of the conversation with software development companies when it comes to developing EHRs. They should also be treated as valuable voices when it comes to organizations choosing EHRs and implementing new processes.
Nurse burnout can also be prevented with advances in other types of technology. Automation using AI-based tools can help with creating and updating care plans, meeting compliance standards, and enhancing team communication. This automation would cut down on the amount of data that nurses need to input to care for patients.
The bottom line is that technology should be used to take things off nurses’ plates rather than making their jobs more complicated and frustrating. Providing nurses with tools that can make their jobs easier and more patient-focused can help prevent nurse burnout and help us retain these absolutely essential healthcare workers.
Fast Chart is a medical transcription company that combines technology, experience, and service. We provide innovative, accurate, and affordable outsourced clinical documentation. Our solutions are scalable including services and technologies like computer-assisted coding, automated transcription, and speech understanding to ensure accuracy in your clinical documentation no matter the size of your organization. To learn more about our services and how Fast Chart can help you prevent nurse burnout in your organization, contact us at (919) 477-5152