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The lingering shortage of medical personnel has aggravated workloads and work pressure in many healthcare facilities across Australia and New Zealand. Medical professionals are forced to take up several roles beyond their job descriptions to keep healthcare facilities functional. This leads to long working hours and massive exhaustion among the staff. These issues greatly contribute to medical personnel burnout, undermining healthcare facilities' productivity and patient safety.

What exactly is burnout? Burnout is a state of complete physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that results from extreme and long-term work-related stress. It is mainly associated with unfavourable working conditions leading to massive job dissatisfaction. Medical personnel in ANZ are at high risk of burnout considering their limited number and stressful work environment.

A notable consequence of workplace burnout in the healthcare industry across both countries is resignation. Most doctors and nurses leave their practice for better opportunities or other careers to ease physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. This fuels employee shortage in the healthcare industry, increasing burnout among remaining employees. Health leaders can address the burnout problem in the industry through process automation. This article describes how process automation reduces burnout in the region’s healthcare industry.

Why are healthcare workers facing significant challenges around burnout?

Burnouts in the healthcare industry have far-reaching consequences, from reduced productivity in the workplace to reduced patient care. Medical personnel feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do. They feel frustrated by the poor work conditions, increasing their vulnerability to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Most medical personnel experiencing burnout feel detached from their workplace, increasing their chances of making medical errors. Medical errors can lead to life-threatening outcomes reducing patient safety.

In 2022, one in every two health professionals (47%) reported feeling burnt out in Australia. This was a significant increase from the previous year. A study conducted by Nuance in collaboration with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in 2021 reported that too many bureaucratic tasks (74%), poor work-life balance (55%), insufficient pay (44%), and overwhelming patient needs (43%) are the major risk factors to burnout in the ANZ health sector.

Unreliable staff (39%) is the primary factor fuelling burnout in healthcare facilities in Australia. Additionally, 43% of clinicians in Australia reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their workload due to the specialised attention and caution they have to take while attending to patients. The statistics signify the prevalence of work burnout in the health sector.

The far-reaching consequences of work burnout have pushed the country to find a lasting solution to address the problem. The government has adopted process automation to reduce the workload among nurses and doctors, increasing their job satisfaction. Healthcare leaders noted that some functions could be performed by artificial intelligence and robotic process automation. They also pointed out that, in some cases, automated processes were more efficient than humans due to increased work volume, accuracy, and efficiency. Continue reading to learn how process automation eliminates burnout in the healthcare industry across ANZ.

How can Automation help the healthcare industry reduce burnout?

Process automation has revolutionised healthcare service delivery by relieving medical personnel of the tasks that make their professions tedious and redundant. It allows them to focus on their careers and spend most of their time on patients, as it should be spent. Unlike other jobs where employees see workflow automation as a threat, medical personnel and healthcare leaders embrace it wholeheartedly due to its vast benefits on their careers and work environments.

Some of the benefits of process automation in healthcare include the following:

Optimised efficiency

Liberating healthcare professionals from tedious and repetitive tasks improves their job morale. Shifting bureaucratic tasks to machines breaks up the monotony healthcare professionals have, increasing their job satisfaction. Healthcare workflow automation allows them to focus on their passion for attending to a patient. This, in return, optimises efficiency in the workplace increasing production capacity. It also advances patient safety by reducing the chances of medical errors.

Improved work environment

Process automation eases the workload among healthcare employees significantly, sharply slicing the consequences associated with the increased workload. For instance, it meaningfully cuts the long working hours most medical personnel have to work to fulfil all of their responsibilities. It reduces the physical and mental pressure associated with too many responsibilities in the workplace.

Process automation promotes seamless workflow in the healthcare facility. A combination of AI software, Natural Language Processing, and chatbots handle several tasks simultaneously, such as patient registration, appointment scheduling, and checking-ins. This relieves employees of their workload, reducing their chances of developing burnout.

Easier scheduling

Scheduling conflicts in healthcare are big risk factors for burnout among staff, contributing to job dissatisfaction. Fortunately, automating healthcare processes has significantly eliminated scheduling conflicts as the technology matches the right patient with the right health service provider at the correct location. Process automation software automatically resolves scheduling conflicts, reducing admin time and improving patient experience.

Improved logistics

Automating healthcare processes improves data sharing in different departments. This reduces the time wasted when transferring files manually. It has also revolutionised inventory management, order processing, and delivery, activities that would normally be handled by medical staff. It has made monitoring medical supplies, especially medicines, equipment, protective equipment, dressing, and other collections easy by allowing employees to track the supplies online.

In addition, its high accuracy level reduces errors that increase the cost of operations within healthcare facilities. Essentially, automated processes provide real-time updates on the inventory flow, allowing healthcare leaders to restock on time to avoid service disruption associated with a lack of medical supplies.

Improved patient experience

Automation in healthcare helps keep patients occupied and informed on their progress, increasing their satisfaction. Automated text messages as patients move through their different phases of medical care reduce their anxiety and wait times as they are informed about the steps to follow in their treatment accordingly.

Real-time communication with a patient's family allows them to make plans on time if they require specialised care not offered in the hospital. Essentially, automated processes ease the pressure medical staff face from a patient's family and friends while seeking updates on the patient's progress, especially during emergencies.

Automated communication processes in healthcare facilities have been instrumental in the post-COVID-19 digital world. The improved communication while in secluded places to limit the spread of the disease eases stress and anxiety among patients and their families. The seamless processes have simplified monitoring a patient's vitals, reducing the contact between patients and medical personnel. This has significantly reduced the risk of contracting the COVID-19 pandemic among medical staff.

Improved handling of emergencies and adapting to changing healthcare dynamics

Machine learning integration in healthcare processes allows healthcare facilities to adjust their staff in response to a sudden change in patient volumes. Emergencies increase work pressure due to the rush to save patient lives, especially after fatal accidents and disasters.

The improved communication associated with automated processes allows staff to attend to emergencies promptly, improving patient outcomes. Effective planning reduces work fatigue as medical personnel are distributed evenly to manage the crisis.


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Why you should work with an expert Process Automation consultant

Healthcare providers in Australia and New Zealand are encouraged to work with expert automation consultants to integrate the right information technology within their facilities. Different healthcare service providers have different needs. Canon Business Service ANZ is one of the market leaders in process automation, with over 25 years of experience. Our highly competent team assesses the scale of your healthcare business and advises you on the software and hardware to install to ensure your healthcare facility has a seamless workflow. Some of the benefits you enjoy from healthcare IT consulting include:

Compliance

Involving expert process automation consultants ensures healthcare providers adhere to all Privacy Act 1988 regulations to safeguard their patients' protected health information (PHI) and patient identification information (PII). A process automation expert configures automated processes securely to reduce infiltration associated with cyber threats.

Learning curve

Automating healthcare processes demands an enlightened workforce for the techniques to work efficiently. An automation expert guides the employees on how to use the information systems flawlessly. They also highlight all the risks involved while using the systems and how the medical personnel can avoid them.

The automated process increases accountability and visibility in healthcare facilities. An automation expert guides supervisors and healthcare executives in tracking workflow in their healthcare facilities to maximise patient safety and improve production capacity.

Reduced costs

Automation systems have different costs and performances based on the efficiency level a healthcare organisation wants to achieve. A process automation consultant helps healthcare executives choose the best process automation system based on their budgets and needs.

Additionally, a process automation expert enlightens healthcare facility executives on the running costs of different process automation systems to know how to adjust their cost of operations to accommodate the systems.

Apply Process Automation today to ease medical staff burnouts

Burnout adversely affects medical staff, patients, and healthcare facilities in different magnitudes. Process automation can help healthcare providers address the burnout problem benefiting greatly in the process. Canon Business Services ANZ can help you implement process automation in your healthcare facility.

Contact us today for more information.

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