Help Retain Nursing Staff by Using Human-Centric Technology
Help Retain Nursing Staff by Using Human-Centric Technology Including Quick Response® Wireless Nurse Call, Staff Protection, and The Power of Communication to Help Nurses Realize Your Business Takes Their Well-being Seriously
Healthcare Employment Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting healthcare occupations will remain strong and grow faster than other occupation averages from 2022 to 2032 by about 1.8 million openings per year. This is due to employment growth and employee turnover.
However, the Council of State Boards of Nursing predicts 900,000 nurses will leave their jobs by 2027, that is on top of the 100,000 that left during the COVID pandemic. Some of these reductions are due to retirement, but a quarter to half of nurses reported feeling emotionally drained, burned out, and fatigued.
At the same time, the CDC reports healthcare workers are burning out — at even higher levels than before the pandemic. The CDC compared separate studies and found higher levels of mental health days, burnout, turnover, and being harassed post-pandemic in 2022 vs. 2018.
The largest healthcare worker strike in history occurred on October 4, 2023, according to NPR, when over 75,000 workers at hundreds of California hospitals and facilities went on strike. The familiar theme of burnout was cited as a reason, along with staffing shortages and not enough resources.
Adding fuel to the fire, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a national nursing home mandate calling for minimal staffing levels and 24hr nursing coverage in facilities nationwide. Bi-partisan lawmakers are urging Health & Human Services (HHS) to reconsider the mandate due to the already stressed healthcare staffing environment.
All these factors are leaving healthcare workers and nurses frazzled. What can be done to retain your healthcare and nursing staff?
Make sure your leadership is empowered to communicate to employees your business takes their well-being seriously. Have an open-door policy so employees know you want to listen to their concerns, they will remain private, and action taken when necessary.
You should communicate to employees what your business is doing to make their jobs easier and maintain their health and safety whether that is offering:
- Healthcare packages
- Employee assistance programs
- Mental health programs
- Vacation and time-off policies
- Wellness programs
- Educational or training opportunities
- Safety systems
- Technology system
Having a private, internal company Intranet is an excellent way to disseminate this type of information, whether it be a SharePoint site or an online portal, there are many software resources to use.
Employees who feel you are investing in their professional growth are also more likely to think your business cares about their well-being. Not all facilities will have budgets to offer continuing education assistance, but organizations should consider the benefits of covering costs for additional certifications or higher education vs. the cost of replacing a valued employee.
Nurses and healthcare providers are on the front lines every day with patients, residents, vendors, and other staff, and are often the first to spot potential problems that can turn into costly legal issues. Make sure your healthcare staff know they can speak up about issues and offer them the tools they need to report them whether they be online forms, email, phone number or a hotline. Hint: Your company Intranet is also a great place to put these resources.
Recognizing a valued employee is probably the best way to make them feel good about their job and workplace. Some ideas to use include:
- Nurse of the month club
- VIP parking
- Social media postings
- Hand-written notes and cards
PROVIDE HUMAN-CENTRIC TECHNOLOGY
The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a clear example of a human-centric technology that helps healthcare workers do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. It makes nurse’s jobs faster, and more accurate and frees up more time for patient care than doing everything by paperwork.
Technology has a positive impact on staff, but this is often overlooked by healthcare workers and nurses. Communication is again the key to making sure your employees know the technology your business has invested in is making their jobs easier and safer.
Here are more examples of human-centric technology for healthcare workers and nurses:
Nurse Call & Wander Management
A nurse call system gets alerts from patients or residents who activate alerts from wall-mounted buttons, pull cords or pendants. The requests go to a centralized console, station, cell phone, or pager, which notifies the appropriate caregiver or nurse, allowing them to respond promptly to the patient’s or resident’s needs or emergencies.
RFT’s wireless Quick Response® Nurse Call solutions are designed to improve resident safety, increase staff efficiency, and reduce liability. The Nurse Call system is mapped to a facility’s coverage area and alerts are displayed on a computer or other devices.
Workplace harassment among healthcare workers doubled between 2018 and 2022, according to the CDC. Workers who reported threats, bullying, verbal abuse, or other actions from patients and coworkers experienced feeling 85% anxiety, 60% depression, and 81% burnout.
Staff protection devices protect employees from physical harm and can also help prevent accidents. The Staff Protection Solution sold by RF Technologies, stands out in the market. This device protects employees in the event of an adverse event. The Staff Protection device is a small, wearable button. It attaches to a lanyard, or keyring, or is stored in a pocket. The device alerts security to the presence of a potential threat and provides real-time updates on the employee’s location.
Retain Nursing Staff with Technology with CONSISTENCY Being KEY
Make a monthly plan to help keep your staff happy, turnover low, and retention high. Make sure you are communicating to your staff how your human-centric technology is helping them every day, and plan to Educate, Empower, and Recognize them consistently.
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