Use these innovative technologies to help employees avoid burnout and manage stress during these challenging times and into the future.
According to recent data, 75% of workers say they’ve experienced burnout; and 40% say this has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. If not addressed, burnout can lead to serious mental health issues and cost employers up to $190 billion in lost productivity and healthcare expenditures. Your employees may not be talking about burnout, but it’s there, it’s real, and it needs your attention.
To start, consider technologies that can reduce workloads, time spent on administrative activities, and opportunities for errors, as well as improve communication and quality. These include:
- Virtual or avatar-based nurses that can get and keep patients connected to providers between visits, triage patients, save nursing time, and streamline communications.
- Workflow technologies. These include platforms and tools such as voice-recognition and automation for data entry and other routine administrative tasks.
- Workforce management programs. Platforms and software that generate schedules and identify gaps in shift work can help prevent staff from being overburdened or short-handed.
- For clinical staff, digital health technologies that sift and filter through large amounts of data to provide recommendations to inform patient care can save time and prevent anxiety and burnout.
- Using AI and natural language processing to mine text for more data allows clinicians and others to be more “free flowing” in their documentation and thought processes.
- Ambient technology, which can pull up data for decision-making, ordering plans, and ordering medications, can save time and improve accuracy for clinicians.
For employees who are experiencing stress and burnout, technology can help them get the support and care they need:
- Telemedicine isn’t just for your residents. Access to these services can help your employees connect with counselors for therapy sessions or physicians for prescriptions, referrals, and consultations.
- Increasingly, virtual support groups for people with common issues or struggles are abundant and popular. These use technologies including phone calls, live messaging, live video conferencing, and forums where participants can post questions and responses. Live video support groups have grown in popularity during the pandemic because they are more personal and make people feel connected. However, for those individuals who want more privacy or anonymity, there are options for them as well.
- There are several mindfulness and meditation apps that offer a convenient and effective way to learn and practice these skills. For those who are new to meditation, Headspace offers beginners’ coaching and classes.
- Self-help ebooks enable mental health support on the go. Consider offering no-questions-asked gift cards and a list of recommended books for interested employees.
- Text therapy is one of the hottest forms of telehealth. This allows people to exchange messages with a licensed mental health professional. It enables your employees to get help on their own terms and at their own pace; and it is typically more affordable than traditional therapy.
Check in with employees regularly to keep your finger on the pulse of organizational mental health. Remove the stigmas regarding stress and burnout, and make sure employees know there will be no shaming or repercussions for seeking help. These efforts will enable you to have a healthy, productive workforce during the pandemic and well beyond.