Healthcare Team Communication Tools to Reduce Nurse Burnout

by | Mar 13, 2018

structured-communication-hospital-team-coordination-messagesFrom EMRs to Internet-enabled medical devices, for many years healthcare IT development focused on the needs of physicians, reveals a Global eHealth Executive Council research brief. “Nurses’ needs, interests and perspectives were often overlooked or minimized by IT professionals due to the greater influence of doctors,” notes author and Advisory Board senior analyst Kate Goddard.

This trend has been shifting recently as nursing leaders have called for more nurse engagement in IT-enabled clinical initiatives. “Nursing professionals [need to] embrace IT systems with the potential to dramatically improve the safety, efficiency and quality of care,” Dame Julie Moore said, speaking to nurses at the Florence Nightingale Foundation Annual Conference.

Clinical IT strategies to reduce nurse burnout

As your healthcare organization looks for technology to support nurses, keep in mind the most urgent needs in nursing today. Many sources describe exhaustion as one of the biggest causes of nurse burnout:

In response, the Nursing Executive Center has called for building a culture of resilience for nurses and establishing practices that facilitate a flexible, agile nursing workforce. Clinical communication and collaboration technology, such as a healthcare team communication tool, can play a substantial role in providing this kind of support to nurses, by streamlining or eliminating tedious tasks and freeing time for nurses to spend on high-quality patient care—the reason many entered the nursing profession.

Streamline administrative tasks with healthcare team communication tools

When not providing direct care to patients, many nursing tasks are administrative: communicating information to other healthcare team members, locating resources and supplies, and responding to calls and pages. These important nursing tasks can be streamlined with technology.

Healthcare team communication tools that automate elements of nurse communication with pre-set contact groups and pre-written messages and responses allow routine hospital exchanges to be completed with one touch rather than many phone calls. Notification templates standardize routine and emergency communications, so that only a few key fields require completion. Two-way messaging provides a closed loop for greater patient safety in less time.

Structured messaging methods, through the use of clinical IT tools, also offer nurses and hospitals the benefit of reduced time with paper-based work processes and records of event logs when needed for review.

Meet nurse-to-patient ratios with fewer resources with staff coordination tools

Maintaining adequate staffing at all times is a challenge in many healthcare delivery organizations. Healthcare team communication tools can help nurse shift coordinators to maintain required nurse-to-patient ratios and efficiently ease the burden of shift coverage for nursing leadership and staff alike.

Predictable nurse staffing is important to nurses on and off-duty. While unexpected shift changes are sometimes unavoidable, knowing about schedule changes as early as possible allows nurses to plan and minimizes stress. When the need for last-minute shift coverage arises, a two-way healthcare team communication tool with pre-selected groups and contacts cross-referenced by license and training makes it easy to find quickly the right person who is available and willing to cover the shift.

The capability to track and document shift coverage requests can allow nurse staffing coordinators to analyze past shift coverage needs and apply past insights to future schedules.

Simplify adoption of healthcare team communication tools with ease of use

It’s critical that any healthcare IT tool integrate easily into the regular nursing workflow. Clinical IT tools should provide nurses with support, not impose an additional burden. A healthcare communication and coordination tool such as LiveProcess Communicator or LiveProcess Emergency Manager, which rely on familiar technology, makes adoption natural and easy.

LiveProcess healthcare communication and coordination tools allow users and message recipients to choose their mode of sending and receiving notifications—email, SMS, fax, voice, pager, or a combination. Every nurse can communicate and collaborate in the mode in which each is most fluent – lowering stress, making the job easier, and reducing nurse burnout.

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Next steps

See concrete examples of how LiveProcess supports nurses and staff coordinators in these two case studies:

Learn about real-time healthcare on our blog.

See LiveProcess Communicator, our healthcare team communication and collaboration tool used for real-time care communication and coordination in healthcare delivery organizations.

Get the whitepaper, How Clinical Communication and Collaboration Technology Supports Value-Based Care Objectives.

Read more blog posts about healthcare team communication tools.

terry-zysk-100x100Terry Zysk, CEO of LiveProcess, has more than two decades of experience in leading organizations that provide innovative solutions to the healthcare industry.