Health care is changing at every turn, and as the status quo adjusts, new gaps come to light. Patient care needs are increasing at the same time as the clinical talent pool is dwindling.
The staffing shortages amidst the changing health care landscape calls for an innovative new approach for clinical health care technology. Organizations need clinical solutions that not only source, recruit, and retain exceptionally skilled clinicians, but also provide those clinicians with the necessary tools, resources, and support they need to feel empowered and fulfilled.
Technology solutions must be multi-functional, supporting the staffing process, creating streamlined workflows, removing administrative complexities, and enabling clinicians to focus on patient care. Ideally, solutions should include four primary components: easy accessibility, data-driven insights, strong clinical processes, and comprehensive clinical education.
When we think of “easy accessibility,” mobile technology immediately comes to mind, and for a good reason. Our society has become increasingly reliant on smartphones and tablets. They are vital parts of our daily lives, facilitating everything from social network engagement, to information gathering, to texting family and friends. The same can be said for medicine.
Mobile device use by health care professionals has transformed many facets of clinical practice, leading to the rapid growth and innovation of medical software application development. Clinicians now use smartphones or tablets for tasks they used to need a pager, cellphone, PDA, and computer to accomplish.
But a solution designed to meet clinical health care needs can’t be limited to mobile alone — it must be able to cross devices, from phones and tablets through the laptops and desktops doctors use in hospitals and at home.
Ease of use on each device is just as essential. The technology must be clinician-focused and designed to meet their needs. Clinicians should have seamless, secure, HIPAA-compliant access to needed information, such as patient records, training resources, communication avenues, and a personal performance dashboard.
Strong Clinical Processes
Using the same technology tools and processes for staff recruitment, care delivery, and training creates a means for clinicians to onboard, learn, deliver care, and receive feedback on their activities without having to learn new tech. The more processes technology has embedded in it, the better it can support multiple purposes.
Recruitment and Onboarding
Technology solutions for this stage should contain communication and status updates from the beginning of the recruiting and hiring process. It must also allow clinicians to upload enrollment and credentialing documentation, and provide training and orientation once employed. Scheduling capabilities and shift request management likewise need to be part of this process.
Care delivery capability, one of the major drivers of clinical technology innovation, should serve several functions: makes a patient list with notes available across multiple facilities, offers care support to help complete documentation, guides patient encounters, and enables secure communication with other care team members.
A workable solution provides rapid-cycle feedback based on quality measurement data that keeps users updated on their performance and lets them see how they compare against their peers. Having such information on hand helps drive personalized mentorship and development, ensuring staff performs at the highest level possible.
A functional, provider-focused communication app needs to enable secure HIPAA-compliant communication with care team members, increasing a clinician’s knowledge of patients under their charge. It should also permit clinicians to connect directly with peers one-to-one and via group messaging and broadcast notifications, a more efficient means of communication than telephone or in-person meetings.
Storing and analyzing a multitude of data points informs operational improvement at every level.
With core system functions that support clinical encounters, advanced technology can also track productivity, identify patterns and trends and turn raw data input into high-value and actionable data for health systems and clinicians.
Advanced artificial intelligence algorithms use data to more accurately predict scheduling needs and create optimized staffing plans. Additionally, productivity metrics give real-time insights to pinpoint areas ripe for quality improvement initiatives.
When leveraged correctly, the right data combined with the correct analysis form a holistic picture of a health care organization – its strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between.
Continuing Education and Training
With the rate of technological advancement quickening, digital learning platforms, including mobile device use, are projected to join the field of medical education.
A practical solution should include a learning management system to deliver clinical training. Ideally, the same system would allow the creation of personalized clinical education plans that assign specific courses to doctors, NPs, and PAs based on needs determined by licensing requirements and performance metrics. It would also offer a deeper dive into required subject matter expertise and track the training process to understand a clinician’s use.
However, any system would need to be industry- and clinician-driven, allowing for clinicians to request new module topics, continuous updating of the knowledge and resource base, and required licensing board course offerings.
The changing health care landscape is putting excessive strain on the clinical workforce. Technology is one way to extend the impact of your resources and improve work-life balance.
Providing the right tools and resources empowers clinicians to heal patients and reduces their stress, creating an enhanced working environment where clinicians can perform at their best.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to investing in such technology, consider partnering with a company who already has advanced capabilities. SCP Health offers a convenient, secure, HIPAA-compliant mobile communication hub designed expressly for clinicians.
Contact SCP Health to learn more about how our clinical technology solutions can help you.