Nurse burnout has long been a challenge for home care companies because home care has certain expectations and requirements that may not be typical of other care facilities. In many ways, the COVID-19 crisis, which began in early 2020, made home care even more difficult for nurses and other care providers whose top priority was keeping patients safe while ensuring continuity of care.
“In a hospital, the environment is set up to support the clinician. It is designed for workforce efficiency. At home the situation is different every day and the clinician has to constantly adapt to a new environment, ”says Michael Johnson, President of the Home Health Practice at BAYADA Home Health Care, who has worked both in the hospital and at home.
This unsafe environment is a stressor that can lead to nurse burnout, along with other factors such as being too close to colleagues when a question or patient problem arises. Home nurses support patients not only physically, but also emotionally. As a rule, you are involved in the family and personal dynamics and at the same time responsible for documenting the visit.
“In the home health one gets the meaningful connection … but [also] When you’re at home, the documentation required is extremely tedious, ”says Johnson. “What clinicians stress is the amount of work that is not directly related to patient care.”
“Our growth will depend on our ability to make the clinician experience at BAYADA superior to any other location,” says Johnson. “Technology and processes can help us with this. This is our primary strategic goal this year as we are really seeing the effects of burnout. ”
Johnson identifies three critical factors in reducing nurse burnout in 2021.
The time devoted to work that is not directly related to patient care can be frustrating, especially given the challenges that arise from the lack of support for home nurses, who typically work independently. And much of the responsibility rests with the nurse when it comes to communicating with family, the GP, and other participants in the nursing process like DME providers.
“People can be great clinicians, but they may not have the best communication tools available,” said Rob Stoltz, vice president of business development at Citus Health, a digital care coordination platform for home care. “The nurse often leaves the family doctor and has to coordinate with the DME provider. Then a family member calls with a question about the equipment. Everyone is on the phone one-to-one, which is inefficient. ”
Citus Health provides a platform that facilitates communication between family members, care providers and patients and enables real-time updates. This can be key to keeping the nurse from being at the center of patient-centered communication and to focusing more on patient care.
Facilitation of documentation access
An electronic health record (EHR) is an important part of any care plan as it documents the patient’s journey. However, providing the information is another way to ease the burden on home nurses.
“EHRs are good at gathering data, but not delivering it quickly to get insight into next steps and easily communicate with colleagues,” says Johnson.
Additionally, records that need to be signed by doctors to ensure CMS schedules are met and delivered on time can be difficult to access.
Technology platforms such as Citus Health enable electronic forms and signatures from general practitioners and other parties who have to sign patient-related documents. This can be done wherever they are instead of having to be personal. It also reduces the burden on the nurse coordinating these documents at home.
Citus Health recently released its app-less eSignature feature, which speeds the capture of these critical signatures by eliminating the need for signers to log into a portal or app.
One of the most important frustrations for home nurses is the lack of coordination between those involved in the care plan – from doctors to therapists to pharmacists and others. A single information hub can reduce frustration and lead to a better experience for the patient, family, and most importantly, the care provider.
the home] As a nurse, you’re primarily acting as a case manager … you coordinate the home care plan with others, ”says Johnson. “You could read that in the hospital [physical therapist’s] write down you or the OTs and walk to the OT department. In home care, this person may be on the other side of town. This is definitely a place where technology could improve the situation to ease the burden on the clinician. ”
A care coordination platform can also save nurses valuable time so they can focus on what matters most – the patient. This, in turn, improves the clinician’s experience of serving his purpose in providing care. If the platform for care coordination, such as the Citus Health platform, can be easily integrated into the company’s EHR, then all data recorded on the platform can be automatically added to the patient record.
It can also serve as a competitive advantage, as in the case of BAYADA’s home health.
“Healthcare is a team sport when done well,” says Johnson. “Technology can ensure that every player is in the right place at the right time and realizing their full potential.”
For more information on how Citus Health can help your business improve communication and collaboration to reduce nurse burnout, please visit CitusHealth.com.