Leveraging Technology and Workflow Automation to Prevent Staff Burnout
Leveraging Technology and Workflow Automation to Prevent Staff Burnout
A new webinar for executives, administrators, directors and other care leaders at senior care and LTC facilities.
Presented October 27, 2022
Managing workflows, processes, and applications required to provide quality and positive healthcare experiences has become unmanageable for most providers.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, EmpRes Healthcare, like other senior care facilities, found itself juggling new and stricter regulations, keeping staff and residents safe, and continuing to providing quality care.
The result was that the organization struggled to prevent staff burnout.
EmpRes turned to automation and technology to combat the problem, eliminating the need for FTEs to manage health screenings. The initiative meant these clinicians could resume working on the floor and providing care — where they were sorely needed.
Watch this webinar and discover the challenges EmpRes faced, the technology solutions they implemented, and what they learned along the way. You'll walk away armed with information to give time back to staff, create quality healthcare experiences via efficiency, and make technology work for you.
- The critical questions to ask your technology application vendors — before you start
- How you can automate workflows so your care team can spend less time at the computer and more time bedside
- How EmpRes was able to track and demonstrate the ROI of its automation, on an ongoing basis
- How the data that automation provides will help you make more timely and informed health care decisions
- And much, much more!
Chief Nursing Officer
Misty joined EmpRes Healthcare in 2016. She comes with over 13 years of healthcare experience in the LTC industry. She has worked for UCHealth and Life Care Centers of America prior to joining EmpRes. She began her career as a CNA before becoming an RN. Her career journey has taken her through many different positions throughout long term care, including Director of Nursing, Regional Director of Clinical Operations, Divisional Director of Clinical Operations, and Director of Clinical Integration.
Misty holds a Bachelor degree in Nursing from the University of Wyoming, and in 2020 received her Master’s Degree in Acute Care Gerontology, earning the title of Acute Care Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (APRN) through the University of Northern Colorado.
TK King, MBA, MPH
VP of Healthcare Strategy
TK King joined the post-acute healthcare industry in 2006 to help promote quality care, improve the clinician experience, and educate the lawmakers that shape regulations and policies at both the State and Federal levels. His experience includes direct patient care, clinical support, software and project management, training and development, analytics, regulatory compliance and education, and operational strategy. Whether it’s eliminating unnecessary tasks in day-to-day operations or automating processes and systems, TK believes quality outcomes and customer satisfaction can be driven by creating a positive experience in the workplace.
Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us for our presentation of Leveraging Technology and Workflow: Automation to Prevent Staff Burnout. My name is Paige Cerulli and I'm an editor here at I Advanced Senior Care and I'm pleased to be facilitating the webinar today.
I have just a few housekeeping notes before we get started. We are recording the webinar today, and after the presentation, we'll send out an e-mail that contains the presentation slides. We will also follow up with a second e-mail containing the webinar recording.
You are all muted during the presentation, but if you have questions for either of our presenters, you can ask them at any time by using the question function. You can find that question function at the bottom of your control panel, and I'll be collecting questions throughout the webinar, and then we'll end with our Q&A session.
OK, so we are ready to get started, and I'm pleased to introduce our presenters.
Today we have Misty Reid, Chief Nursing Officer at EmpRes Healthcare, as well as TK King, Vice President of Healthcare Strategy, and Accushield. And with that, I will hand things over to our presenters, and welcome to Misty and TK.
Thank you very much, and welcome to all of our listeners today.
We're going to be talking about how to avoid staff burnout, leveraging technology, and automation, and before we get into that, I'd like to just better explain, missed his background and myself.
I will turn it over to Misty, Misty do you mind explaining your background for us?
Yeah, so I have been in the long term care industry for the duration of my career, which has been over 17 years now.
I have done everything in the long term care arena, you I think you possibly could with that experience and so berry, blast and humbled to bring any of that wisdom to you guys today. I have a passion for geriatrics. Recently and doing that, I completed my nurse practitioner in acute care adult gerontology. So I also bring that to the table, as far as the clinical part of managing geriatric care.
Well, I'll turn it back over to you, TK.
Excellent. Thank you. I, too, had been in the health care industry about 17 years.
I then enrolls mainly to support clinical operations and ensure clinicians in the workforce, have the tools and training they need to be successful primarily to advanced quality care.
I'm also a certified HIPAA privacy and security experts and help manage some strategy for health care at Accu Shield.
Alright, well, let's get into our agenda today. I'm gonna start by going through some rather depressing facts about staff burnout. I promise the slides are sort, I don't want to make the burnout worse. But we do want to acknowledge where we're at today in the industry. As far as burnout goes, we'll spend some time talking about the impact that burnout has, and what we believe is causing it.
We'll talk about technology at a very high level. There's lots to talk about. We're going to keep it high level and detailed for you guys.
What to consider when you're discovering technology. So what questions to ask?
We'll talk about automation, one-on-one, what it means, and lessons learned on technology and its impact on reducing burnout for staff.
So with that, let's go ahead and get started.
Alright. I talked about, we're going to start with some rather depressing facts here and these truly are depressing, but I promise you hopefully some of the takeaways today will help alleviate some of these facts here for us.
So over one thousand health care workers were interviewed by the Mental Health of America last year, and it showed that 93% of respondents are experiencing stress, 86% reported experiencing anxiety, 77 Unfeeling frustration, 76% exhibit exhaustion and burnout, and 75% feel overwhelmed.
Now, I mentioned that they conducted this interview last year, so a lot of these numbers attribute to the covert pandemic. But many could argue that this started well before that as well.
Here's the bad news.
Those numbers are going to get worse over 500,000 RN's or anticipated to retire this year.
1.1, new RN's are needed this year to meet population health needs.
And within the next five years, the country faces a projected national shortage of low wage health care workers. So CNA's and med techs, those types of individuals of more than three million.
And so you can imagine how we've already got a burned out workforce with the addition of the, the retiring workforce and population needs.
It's only going to get worse.
So, Misty, let's spend some time talking about how these facts, Razak, mate with you, you've been in the industry, you know, over a decade, how do those facts resonate with you? Can you talk about some of the experiences you've had with clinicians who may be burned out in the organization?
Yeah, I think we're all on a boat. Or this resonates more than any of those previous times throughout. My time in the industry, of course, the last two years, has been the most challenging, and we know just by the facts that we're just presented, it's going to get worse before it gets better.
With that being said, in times of challenges like we are facing now, and we will continue to face, you know, for the next couple of years, I think now's the time where we can rally the troops become stronger, look at those solutions that are gonna help manage this.
Again, focusing on things that we can control in our own organizations versus those outside factors. We cannot control. We cannot control the amount of RN's that potentially are going to retire this year, but we can control and our organizations, how we manage those new opportunities within our own houses, how we build our cultures, how we inspire others to join our industry. And how we cut down that workload that all of our staff members are facing with, with the shortages right now and that challenge.
Yeah, great points.
And you know, our, our conversation today is going to center around technology and automation, but you mentioned something critical, which is culture.
What are some of the things you've done at, um, press and your team to help impact culture and potentially alleviate some of the burden, and I know you guys have Health Care Heroes campaign and a few other things. Can you talk through those for us?
Yeah. I think now's the time where, you know we're seeing in the back end of the pandemic and where we rallied our troops within our organizations during the pandemic to come together and fight the enemy of covariate. No. Now's the time where we don't back off from that and creating a culture where your staff still feels valued and knows that they are a hero. Even when the pandemic has ended and will end one day and we know that.
But creating a culture where you are that tight knit family, took a village to get through the S and from the absolute top of the organization down to, you know, the level of staff in your building that's doing that bedside, critical care. Housekeeping, laundry. I mean, everyone, it took a village to get through this and maintaining a culture that really embodies that family feel, I think is super critical.
Absolutely. Great points there.
So we know that burnout impacts, obviously, culture and turnover.
There's, there's more impact, though, that it's, it's impacting, and I'd like to talk about some of those with you: First and foremost, resident care and outcomes, which directly impacts your star ratings, your quality outcomes, all of those measures.
Our family and visitor experiences, they can see our staff when they're burnt out, certainly impacts their experience while they're in the facility.
Our online and social media reputation, eventually, it trickles down into our census development efforts. And we talked about culture and turnover, but one of the other elements, as far as workforce processes, will be our recruitment impacts.
There's a lot more that burnout impacts.
Can you talk about how that's impacted your organization?
Particularly from maybe the experiences it's creating for your residents and their their family members coming to visit?
I mean, of course, when no staff has really just hanging by a thread because they've been bag to pick up another shift another shift, another shaft, right, and everybody's kind of in that same boat. You know, you that trickles down to our residents. You know, don't want to bother that poor CNA. You know that they know I've worked.
How many chefs in a row, you know, and so they may try to self transfer on their own. They may have falls as a result of that. I mean, it just trickles down and so many different ways. You know, your quality of care can be compromised. If you're not able to have the staff in there that's doing just the basics right.
That's what they're focusing on.
And so, some of our other quality improvement components that we really want to focus on as a center sometimes have to take that back burner approach for a second so that we can just maintain the basics of resident care, which is not about that any of us want to be. And, and so, you know, it's greatly impacted us on that level. Not to mention, five Star is a huge one, and, as we all know, this is going to become even more of a focus for CMS. Not only with a five star, but now, just this week, they've announced for special special focus facility list for candidates. For those who are going to go on the list, your staffing is now going to be looked at. And if your staffing is low, you may be pushed forward on going on that list, which none of us want to be on. So, it can affect us that way, which then affects census, right, with five star. And those, that outside perspective of how your center is running, not to mention one census, you know, that starts to trickle down. Then, financially, you take an impact or burden that way, as well. So, all the way around, I don't think there's not an avenue. It doesn't touch.
I think we all know that far, too.
Well, within our organizations, we just really have to learn and manage. How do we stop the bleeding? How do we take control of those circumstances that are still within our control and maximize those efforts?
Yeah, excellent points, And that really leads us to our next slide here, which is identifying what's causing the burnout in order to fix it. We've gotta know what the problem is.
Throughout our industry, we've, you know, try to, to assess what's causing the burnouts, whether it's over documentation in our electronic health record programs, a lack of tools and solutions like technology, which we'll talk about in a few moments.
Often we find that we've got duplicate processes between systems or even in the same system and kind of unnecessary tasks that are associated with that.
The big one I think we can all agree on is compliance fatigue, The number of regulations we've got to manage and the number of times we have to re-educate seem to be climbing every day.
The number of technology programs that everyone's using, and then we add the icing on the cake, which is that workforce shortages.
There's obviously a lot more that impacts health care worker burnout, even just things going on at home and their personal life.
Misti, from your perspective, what do you believe, impacts, staff, burnout the most?
No compliance, fatigue just has so many fingers.
From that list that you just mentioned, that causes, you know, the documentation overload, you know, having several technology platforms, for instance, and overload with that.
That compliance fatigue is really, I feel what is driving probably the biggest force and all of that. And it's it's only getting worse as you kinda mentioned before. TK like Phase three. We all know that deadline was on Monday.
So we are live in phase three, and many of us for the past month have been scrambling to try to get all of that implemented and educated on and new policy revisions. And so now there's more on their plate because of that.
And so, again, that's just as going to impact that staff burn out even more, I think, over the next couple of months, just trying to get all of these Phase three.
Compliance, Regulatory things in place, not to mention.
They ever changing coven.
Policy and procedures, do you guys know that we just had changes last week. We've had changes are no longer doing routine testing, so some of it's good. But, again, it's a complete change of our processes, where we may have had several different platforms to try to facilitate or meet those requirements, and now all of a sudden, we have to shift gears. And so, it just as maddening to a lot of the staff out there and can contribute greatly to that burnout.
And then that the resignation theme, you know, I'm taking away from your statements.
Here's our clinicians are truly just trying to keep up while they're providing quality of care.
And it's almost impossible these days.
Which is why we're going to talk a little bit about how technology can help with.
So, let's actually just jump right in.
So, we wrote down, at a high level, what technology should do in our industry for providers. And keep in mind, technology has an endless list of benefits.
There's also some, some cons to technology as well, and we're going to talk through a little bit about that today as well.
But for our lists, we're starting with just a general statement here, which is technology. If you're using it in your facility, it should improve your workforce's ability to perform his or her job.
Additionally, it should help improve or derive quality outcomes.
Those two big, those are two really big ones for, in my opinion.
Most technology does elements of that. But if it's causing burden to your staff, it's an opportunity to take a step back and re-evaluate what you're using.
Additionally, whether it's your operational processes or state and federal guidelines, your technologies should be capable of compliance and help you support compliance as well.
If it's good technology, it should eliminate redundancy. And we'll talk about automation in a few moments.
Know, care, collaboration, and patient engagement rhetoric. Resident centered care is taking the spotlight lately, especially as the Cures Act. This month went into its final milestone. So that's obviously something that should help improve or enable for you. And then last but not least on our list is enabling automation to support interoperability, which again goes back to the Cures Act.
So let's talk about pre technology discovery. If you're looking for a solution, what should you be identifying before you can get started? And so we've listed a few questions here to help you understand the need of the technology. So first and foremost, what are you attempting to solve?
Is it to improve your care delivery? Is it to improve staff workforce solutions?
That should be your first question: and your second is, What's your primary audience, or who's your primary audience? Is it your staff? Is that the residents? Is it a combination of both?
How will the solution not only meet your current needs, but anticipate future ones?
So, how well, does the technology adapt to future regulations in the industry as a capable of doing that.
What are the minimum requirements required for success. We call these. what are the have to haves and then what is the list of would like to haves have to haves are required for you to sign the contract with the technology partner?
Would like to have there with things that you agree, that would make your lives easier.
But if you didn't have the tools still be successful, what's your budget is? Always an important one, I think we would all agree on. And the most important one, I think Missy and I would agree on here, is, do you have leadership buy in for the technology you're looking at? If you don't have leadership buy in. It's impossible, nearly impossible for it to be a successful rollout in your organization.
Mister You and I, and our career have rolled out a lot of programs. Let's talk a little bit about the processes that Empress uses before you're deploying or meeting with technology partners.
Can we talk through that a little bit?
Yeah, I think you hit it home on the last slide, but making sure that you have a clear vision of what you're in need of, what is the solution, you know, that you want to have fix and having the details of that. So, you know, having that clear vision of exactly what you want before you start meeting with any technology partners is critical to that whole process.
Otherwise, you can be steered one way or the other, and it all just sounds wonderful. But you might end up with a solution that really wasn't exactly what you were looking for. So, stick to that list of exactly what the solution is you're looking for. The other thing I'll say to that is, look at your current technology partners first, before you start that process of looking at others to. You may be surprised that they have other platforms.
Options are willing to design and work with you even on a solution that if you need it, there's probably others in the industry that needs that as well. And so, that's always a good avenue, is to look at your current partners as well.
Excellent, excellent points.
And to go back to your first point, which is sticking to your needs, no, I think what often happens is we started meeting with technology partners, and they've got A, you know, a shiny object that looks great to us, but does it truly support or resolve the need that we initially identified as the key there.
So, great point.
Let's talk about the questions to ask technology Partners. And to kind of piggyback off what Missy said, this could be used for not only new or prospect technology partners, but also your current ones.
A lot of the solutions we have today, if you're on point click here, for example, or if you're using IQ Shield, or Cronos or UK G, they all do things that on the surface, looks like they solve one problem, but beneath the surface, there's a lot more things they can do. So the first question, really, to address that is, What problems does your solution solve?
Is it aligning with what your company needs?
Another important question to ask is, Who determines your roadmap or feature prioritization?
You know, I'd ask you Shield and Misty helps us do a great job with this, but our customers help us determine what's on our roadmap, and how to prioritize our future feature, opportunities as well. So really knowing that your tech partner has your interests at heart is important.
Does your solution integrate with other industry solutions? So can you share data electronically between platforms?
How does your organization stay up to date on industry related regulations?
As much as regulation's impact providers, they also impact technology partners. So how are they staying up to date on those?
We all want to say, as a tech partner, we don't have comp competitors, but the reality is that we do. We need to know what those competitors are doing in order to ensure we're providing the best tool to our customers.
So it's appropriate for a provider to ask their software partner, who's your competitors?
Another big one, here, because it impacts clinicians and their ability to do their job is what's your software's uptime? And this simply means how or how reliable is your solution?
How often does your solution godown along as it available to our our workforce?
What's the implementation process look like? And really, there, you're measuring the burden, the implementation may have on your field staff.
And then last but not least, on our list, is, what does your support process look like?
Some companies require you to have your own internal IT team or support team while other vendors may want you to go directly to them first.
Misty, in your opinion what are some other questions that are important to ask during the discovery process with vendors?
I think you briefly touched on it. But one of the biggest things in our staffing challenges is, again, you know, what does this solution going to take away? From that burden of the everyday staffing? Whether it's documentation care that they're delivering, you don't want to implement a solution that's going to add more to their plate and they're not gonna buy into a solution that's going to add more to their plate. And so I think making sure you ask questions on, how is this solution going to take away from that workload? And especially implementation, as you mentioned, TK, what's that burden going to look like for the staff? Because, quite frankly, they don't have the time, as we know, to roll out.
Especially one project being very strategic and selective on is this solution something you absolutely need as an organization. And it's worth the burden of implementation, however small you want that to be. It's still going to be some work that's going to go to that center that you're trying to implement it with. So, I think that's a big consideration that we all should take into account when we're looking at those partners.
Absolutely. You mentioned time. And anytime I think about a solution, I think about the amount of time it takes to resolve support requests.
When we think about clinicians, and we'll, we'll use the example of a clinician trying to pass a medication, or process something in the system.
If they can't do it, and they're submitting a support requests, it's appropriate for us to ask our technology partners, what is the average response time to your support requests.
That alone will really help you determine is this technology partner here to help me or do they are they too far separated from how what they do impacts our ability to provide care to our residents?
So great points, Misty.
All right, so we've identified what our needs are, and we've documented them. We know who our audiences.
Now, it's time to start tracking the responses we get when we start meeting with our tech partners.
So we're going to evaluate their responses. We're going to discuss as a team, the findings from the demos we had. The big one here, too. And our opinion is capturing referral information.
So when you're meeting with your tech partners, ask them, do you have a referral we can talk to who is similar to our organization?
So we can ask them questions about their experience?
Evaluate your budget and operations requirements.
So beyond just the cost of this solution, as Misti said, there's operations requirements with training your workforce and traveling across the country if you need to, to make sure the implementation goes well, Make sure that's included in your budget and your evaluation.
Since we're talking about implementation, it's also important to leverage your vendor, to help create that plan.
Some technology partners will help reduce the burden or burnout on your training team, and will do the implementation for you.
So it's important to take advantage of those opportunities and reduce burnout even more by leveraging your tech partners, track, and monitor your milestones, that's given in any projects. And the big one here for me, and I'm sure Misti agrees, is implementation never stops.
And what we mean by that is that, because of regulations constantly changing in our, our industry, programs are updated and changed.
And it's going to cause a training requirement for your end users on top of all the regulations that change as well.
So there's some ways, and we'll talk about that in a moment, how you can tie your training into regulatory or your technology training into regulatory training as well.
Which is, I guess, is my next slide. So a couple of things that kind of piggyback off of routine training and what's driving it.
Turnover is the big one. Our industry's turnover is pretty high.
Which means we've gotta have a plan to keep new folks trained and trained appropriately.
If we've got configuration changes in a program or vendor updates that are driving the need for more staff training, it's imperative that folks are trained the right way.
The other thing to keep in mind here is that not everyone learns the same way, and so, in order to ensure clinicians got the right information, they can do their job well, and not get frustrated.
Make sure you're offering training in various ways, so in person, virtual, VA handouts, There's a lot of different methods as well.
The big one is make the training relevant and efficient.
If I pull a nurse into a training or misti pulls, you know a regional into training for three days and we could have done it in a half a day.
We've wasted a lot of time and even made their lives harder by taking them away from their primary job. So just make sure the training is relevant inefficient.
Then the nice thing that I know Misti does it Empress's Incorporates Training Policy and Procedure Awareness into their implementation process. And we'll talk a little bit with you about that in a moment here Misty.
Then the last one here is provide education solutions and enable ease of use and what we mean by that is, can the clinician or your can your workforce, access education solutions remotely?
Can they do it from their phones?
Can they do it from their laptops outside of facility at the right times?
So Misty having, you know, been working with you for a number of years.
I know Empress has a lot of amazing processes to keep up with routine technology and software training. You've got a clinical team that does training there.
Can you talk us through what the team looks like and then how they do their training across the company?
Yeah, so we have several different offshoots of trainings like an full EHR team which are just brilliant and the gurus for all of our electronic health care, several different platforms on that side, whether it's our education platform, or it's our electronic health record itself, they will actually deploy and go to centers across the country as needed to do that training and education, rollouts, et cetera, which having that in person training, Israeli, you know, something that you just can't be. And I think we're all striving to try to get back towards being so far away from it for so long we're forced into that virtual arena. With that being said the pandemic has taught us, we can do a lot virtually.
So that has really helped us to provide education in that arena as well, and it's actually, you know, been a blessing the last couple of years. Our centers have gotten very used to that electronic platform to facilitate education and training and we're able to do that relatively quickly when we need to. And so capitalizing on that has been really well as well.
We've also looked at other technology platforms that can communicate via text message, whether it's to residents and families, our staff, utilizing it in that way. As we know, we live in a technology arena now, a social media and whatnot.
And so, you know, making sure you're staying on the latest and greatest of that in ways that you can reach your staff quickly and efficiently, whereas the old-school mail or e-mail, you know, may not get communicated to them in a fashion that they either receive or they, it might be time delayed. So, staying on the cusp of what speaks to your staff, culturally is appropriate in certain areas. And then just using those different avenues, whether it's in person, virtual, social media, e-mail, et cetera.
Just making sure you have lots of different ways that you're able to do that, as what helps with that implementation and staying integrated with that particular technology that you're trying to deploy.
Excellent. There's almost no wrong path when it comes to keeping up on education. So, thank you for sharing that.
That we've kinda set up so far the questions and areas to consider when you're looking at new solutions.
And Misty did a great job about talking through if you've got an existing partner.
Take advantage of the opportunity to do something similar with them to ensure your systems configure the right way.
And you're using the solution to avoid burning out or helping reduce burnout for your clinicians.
Let's talk through that just a little bit more. So we know workflows, workflows, workflows, they impact, everything, clinicians do, including beyond clinicians to your, in an interdisciplinary teams.
If we have too many tasks in a workflow, however, it could delay patient care.
It could create duplicate documentation issues.
I mean the list goes on when it comes to unnecessary tasks in workflows.
What I know Empress has done, and lots of folks that are probably listening to, hopefully from time to time, are routine optimizations. And they're designed to help eliminate those unnecessary workflow tasks.
Better align the workflows with your current policies.
Enable our clinicians to provide the quality of care, which impacts our fiscal health and then hopefully impacts our retention as well.
Misty you and I have been through a couple of optimization processes together, especially when it comes to looking at all the evaluations or assessments, the clinicians are responsible for completing.
Can you walk us through some of the steps that you take when you look at those processes and how to reduce the number of steps?
Yeah. Again, anything you can do to reduce the work load that is on each staff member.
So, you know, usually, I try very much anytime there's something new that comes out from CMS or whatnot, a new regulatory requirement, what I give it a try to take it away. So, if I can combined evaluations to, to meet that requirement. If I can eliminate something that's old, and there's really no rationale behind it, then we do that. So optimizing, making sure you don't have duplicates in.
The process is super important for optimizing that. And it speaks volumes to your staff of less than what you see here is the absolute essential. We have to get done. There is no extra fluff, so to speak, that I want to put on your plate. And so, eliminating the fluffy stuff, make sure it is just the bare essentials to meet the requirements that we're under, so that your staff can focus on what's really important. And that's, you know, providing the best quality of care for those residents at the bedside.
You just used a very technical term, which has extra fluff words.
I think can resonate with a lot of providers, especially our directors of nursing, that are listening.
What I find is, And I'm sure you do, too, as a result of a survey, a facility can create a process that at the end of the day, we probably didn't need to create. And we were just out of fear of not being compliant, do. You run into that quite a bit in your experience. Yeah. Yeah, I do. so making sure I like to call the mythical creatures are the unicorns, where, you know. It's just been that way. We've done it that way for years. We're not really sure why.
And there's not an actual regulatory requirement that word predispose them to do with that certain way. So I think it's important to look at those when you find them question. Obviously, if they're currently in an open plan of correction, you know, that's applicable. But even then when we say we're going to monitor and things like that, we should be sunsetting process improvement after it's sustained. And the process is fixed. And so if you have any of those lingering elements or evaluations that you utilized before, it becomes that extra workload that may not be, you know, even feasible or something that's required now, especially if that system has truly been fixed, and you've been able to sustain it. So it's important to look at those different pieces.
Excellent point. Not afraid to go back and comb through them and clean it up.
All right, well, let's get into automation. We'll touch on it. And I will preface this, that there is a ton the automation.
We're trying to make this a little bit simple, and give the important pieces here.
But if you've got more questions about automation, when we're done, use the question feature, or feel free to reach out to us directly. From a very high level, the point of automation in our world is really to reduce human intervention.
So trying to eliminate all the duplicate processes between applications, such as entering a resident's name in multiple programs, for example, or triggering workflows.
It also enables the transmission of data between programs or triggering tasks.
And the big takeaway with automation is that if it's not saving you time, it's probably not a real automation process. And that's where you want to go back to your technology partners.
It really makes sure you're understanding the capabilities of their automation and what the intended purpose behind it is.
A couple of examples of automation that we do here at IQ Shield are listed here. So we trigger real-time alerts based off of how our customers configure their kiosks.
We help export data into NHSN, which, for skilled nursing providers, has been a nightmare over the last few years.
We hope Export PBGC Data, ..., Data, or Rather, for Compliance, which this year took another, look under the spotlight. We help automate the feedback, process and online view, request process for our visitors.
And the big one here, which I know Pointedly Empress takes advantage of with Care, and Acute Shield is integration between platforms.
Missy, we've spent a lot of time Adam Press and the past working on integrations and automating processes.
Do you mind just explaining? You know what some of those processes look like for Empress.
Yeah. I mean, it's anywhere from having your automation to critical data that your leaders need to help drive that process improvement or bring to their attention, any, any areas that we do need to focus on to, You know, I love automation, as far as that timesaver. And I think that's a huge thing to look at when you're looking at our technology partner.
But with that being said, like with PCC, for instance, it's great to have an automatic triggered evaluation. It takes away that human element piece, because we're humans taking care of humans, especially amongst the challenges that we're under. Mistakes will happen, we will forget something. We're not perfect. And so, having an automated process that helps just remind us, and keep us on track for some of those critical areas, is just wonderful.
And it just it can add so much value to that whole workload or that process. But if we're trying to do an automated process, or trigger for anything and everything, and not just those critical systems, we can become desensitized just like everything else. And so being selective and what you choose to do with those automated processes is super important. And making sure, as an organization, you decide, what are those important elements that we absolutely want to make sure we try to eliminate that human error factor and automate, and make life a lot easier for those who are trying to provide that care.
You said something that resonates with me and that's You know, we can receive sometimes 10 to 20 if not more.
alerts just based off of how we configure our solutions and eventually they become numb to getting those alerts.
So making them relevant and useful is a great point there.
Now I know what Empress you guys have in your applications. You've got a lot of automation.
You've also got automation from a data and reporting perspective for your regionals.
Can you talk through that? How that supports the operations process from a corporate perspective.
Yeah, so having automation on things like your vaccination numbers, testing numbers, you know, being able to have a one stop shop to look at those things. Obviously, you know, on your operational side, was sensor send budgets and PPD and things like that. Having that automated helps drive. You know, at a corporate level, How do we help those? that are trying to strive towards meeting that budget or that goal automation? Obviously on the clinical side is absolutely critical, especially.
It's, it's, it's done wonderful things for us on the quality measure side with your QM some particular. Once we automated that process and created a rapport and projections and knew where we were heading and where we needed to really focus our efforts with our quality measure improvements. as an organization, it really helped turn us for the better and greatly improved our outcomes in that area. So, again, just being very strategic on what processes you want to be automated, They're not just reports generated, that no one's going to look at. If it's important to you, it will be important to others.
So, again, not having the desensitized factor with at all, when you get those reports at a corporate level. It's checking in with those. You know, that, it directly is trying, they're trying to drive those outcomes. And so, if they know that you're looking at it, that you see it as value and important, and it's helping to drive that focus. It will remain a focus, for those who are actually driving yet. So I can't say that enough. Just make sure that you're really taking a look at what's automated and what's super important in that arena.
Yeah, Great point.
And I think to take that a step further, even if, if you are having Reports Center will say, that are automated, and no one's reading them, Do you still need to be sending them?
So I think taking a step back and looking at everything you've got going to folks, if it's just sitting in their inbox because they don't need it, do you still need to be sending it out?
That's the kind of questions we should also be asking when it comes to just burning folks out.
All right? So we've talked about technology.
What's a look for some of the short comings of technology as far as any, you know, issues with overburdening, people with alerts and workflows, how automation can work.
You know, some of the other things to consider just when you're focused on the burnout piece is limiting the number of application implementations at the same time. And Misty spoke to this early on in our presentation but if you've got a lot of programs being implemented at the same time, even if it's different disciplines in the building, it can become a big chaotic mess.
So trying to avoid the number of implementations at one time can go a long way.
At the same time, and Misty, I'm going to defer some of this to you because you've done a great job that I'm press managing this, but releasing customized configurations on a re-occurring schedule when able.
We'll get through these three more, and then we'll circle back there.
When sourcing technology attempt to find a solution that can solve more than one business need, Misti also touched on that a little bit as well.
Get the feedback, so what are your staff have to say about the solution once it's implemented?
Is it still meeting like this? The, the audiences need? Has that need been met? What does your staff have to say about it?
And then the last one on this list, there's a lot more, but the last on our list is identifying super users.
So Misty I want to go back to number two, which was releasing customized configurations on a re-occurring schedule.
I know M Press has a monthly education schedule, and that your EHR team has a customized configuration schedule to not overwhelm your clinicians.
Anything you want to share on that piece.
Yeah, I mean, nothing.
And unfortunately, we're kind of in this season right now where we are dumping a lot with phase three, but ideally, you know, you own, you'll want to tweak and change things as you go along, especially when you implement a new technology platform. And so, it's important to spread that out.
Have a schedule on how you're going to routinely almost think of it as a maintenance. But what do we need to tweak? And that really kind of goes with number for a lot of that feedback and configuration, or changes that need to be made. You're gonna hear from your staff, right? You're gonna hear from those who are actually using the product.
And so, number four is super important, I think, to begin with, because you can be told a lot of things with a technology partner, and then when it comes to the actual solution implementation, it can fall short, or it's not exactly what the product is that they, they describe to you.
And so, having that direct staffs, opinion not only drives thereby am for it, but they also can tell you, know, This isn't feasible for us. This caused a ton of extra work for us, or, you know, that's great, but I wish it did this, right, And so that's where your configurations can come in. And that feedback gets integrated, Your staff is happy, they feel heard, and they have more of a buy in into that technology platform as well. So, again, don't dump it all at once. You want to have a maintenance, kinda so to speak, schedule. Making those tiny tweaks along the way.
Excellent, and, you know, you made me realize to another factor here with releasing customized configurations is the amount of time we, as, you know, those that help manage applications, take the system down for maintenance which prevents our clinicians from being able to do their job altogether.
So, make sure you guys work with your technology teams internally and schedule blackout dates and times, what are the times of the day? We don't want to take our systems down?
What are the important dates, all that stuff plays into how it directly impacts your caregivers.
Miss you, talk to us a little bit about super users.
I've always believed their product champions that help more than they realize and I know at Impress you guys make a big deal about finding super users.
Can you talk us through what that means? What is a super user for you?
So, a super user is someone who has a full on grass for that product, or whether it's an EHR, whether it's an education platform, whatever you're seeking. Do you want to have several in your organization that are so super users?
And depending on the platform, you may need a super user and every center to kind of be that guide. Or they'll go to when you have new staff that are onboarding, and you don't get that education. Or need re-education, as we all know what the turnover numbers we saw earlier, in the slides. To avoid having to do, you know, mass education, sending, and our support team, from your corporate office, et cetera, that burden can become very large. When you've got a revolving door right now of staff, it feels like an lots of us know that we have agency it. And so with agency, they still need to have that education of those platforms to be successful. And, so, it's very important that almost, at a central level, every center needs to have a super user that go to, to provide that education, and training, anytime, and as needed.
And then, you know, obviously, at a corporate level, you know, anytime you're looking at an application you want to integrate within the company, as the leader. You should be a super user of that, as well. and understands all of the aspects of it yourself, so that you truly understand, and know, in your heart of hearts, this is an application that's going to do good for our company.
Or, this is an application that sounds wonderful, and it's shiny and bright, but you may not really have the beef and ... of what that actual platform is going to do for you. And you know, you need to be able to know all the ins and outs and know that that's the right solution for your company. And those who are gonna use it. So being a super user yourself for anything you're looking at, I always recommend. And I think that's super important.
Fantastic point, and one item to add there is if you do have super users in your building or you're working on identifying them, make sure you check in with them.
They often get burnt out first because they feel responsible for keeping other folks trained.
It's to check in with them, ask them what they need, what are they missing to feel confident as a super user, and really acknowledge it.
You know, we've, in our careers, we've had super users that have managed a lot for us, and I think at times, it's It's it's not easy to remember the burden they take on being a super user. So making sure they check in with them.
Well, Miss you. Let's talk a little bit about lessons learned. And then if we've got some questions, we'll move over to our question list. There's a lot of lessons I think that we both learned in our careers when it comes to burnout and the use of technology.
With that, I think the first one is getting the proof and validate. It meets your facility needs.
Mister ..., gives it a great job throughout our presentation. Just resonating that message there. Anything you want to add to that one?
Yeah. I mean, I guess I would say to really avoid that burnout in the first place. You know, having your team excited about the solution and that it's going to take away, or it's going to improve their day-to-day lives in the center is it's just going to help to eliminate that burnout. Nothing is worse than a roll out and they have no idea what solution what this is going to solve, all it sounds like to them as more work, which is going to contribute to that burnout. And so making sure you clearly state what the solution is going to do and how it is going to improve their life is going to be a big factor of that, lessening the burnout.
And don't forget, if you are vetting a new solution, or you're looking at a new module in a solution, ask for a customer referral, You know, get the proof that it does meet those needs.
The next on our list is technology can be your friend, and I'll be the first to admit that in our industry, we struggle to adopt technology.
I do think that as a result of covert it's kind of forced us to start looking at technology in a different way, but never shy away from it.
If you've got a need, and you want to make your clinicians lives easier, invest in technology.
The next on the list would be leveraging your vendors and partners, and what I mean by that is, some of your vendors, or some of your technology partners, They've got the best of the best on their teams.
There are folks that have come from the industry to help solve problems for our workforce, for improving quality of care.
If you've got questions about regulations or how something's going to impact your operations, lean on your vendors and tech partners to get some of those answers. And Misty you and I collaborate. almost every week I learned from you and vice versa.
So, for folks listening out there, it's truly can be an asset's to both parties.
Misty, you know, this one really well, and that's just evaluating your survey outcomes before you make a change to your system or workflow. You touched on it a little bit earlier. Anything else you want to add there?
Yeah, I mean, just, again, make sure that you combine things as much as possible and try to look at that whole picture, You know, from CNA going to be effected by this, the nurse, you know, as an infection control. It's going to affect every one, right? And so, how do we just simplify that process as much as possible, versus creating 12 different avenues for 12 different disciplines.
So, just sometimes, a challenge us asks a lot to think outside the box. It challenges us to get away from while this is the way we've always done it. Or, you know, while we've always needed this evaluation, if we truly don't have that knowledge behind, are we sure we need that evaluation? Is that actually a regulatory requirement? Then we challenge and a little bit and eliminate those workflow, you know, offshoots that just don't need to be there.
Excellent point. Last on our list, and again, that list could be extensive, but the major one really is just to take a step back and listen to our staff. Their feedback is critical.
It's just like asking our CNA is what you need and they tell you they need a new Hoyer lift.
Will typically we go do it, same thing with technology if they're saying they need something, let's take a step back, look at what our solutions are and and make that change.
The goal here is to empower our our staff to have the tools and solutions they need so they can do their job and not get burnt out.
So, Misty, I want to thank you as always for partnering with us today and going through our our session.
We do have a slide here that has got our contact information. So if you've got more questions about today's presentation or we don't get to answer one of your questions, feel free to reach out to us.
I will let our host know that I cannot see any questions so if they don't mind, if you do have any reading them to us.
Absolutely. And thank you so much, Misty and TK. We do have a few questions that we received during the presentation. I think either of you could probably respond to this first question.
Does staff burnout seem to impact all staff equally or are some staff impacted differently than others?
Miss, you can take that one. That's a good one. Yeah. You know, it affects everyone differently.
That's been a huge takeaway.
And so I think a lot of it, it just depends on the person to write. I think every one of us, that's that all saying of being nice to everyone, because you don't know what they're facing, or what challenges that person may have going on in their life at that moment.
And so at the same is true is for everyone that's in that center, know, it's not just work that they may be facing, that's causing that burnout but maybe whole life to and the pandemic and the stresses of that or they may have a loved one that sick. We just don't know. And so you know, everyone shares that burn and a little bit different. Everyone carries it light from happy.
I think everyone in the center is experiencing burnout in some way, I think that is widespread, but the level of it, I do think it differs through everyone in the center.
Great, thank you. And Misty this next question is also for you. Is there a rule of thumb that ...
uses in terms of how frequently changes can be made? Sort of a minimum amount of time to wait before making a change so that your frontline staff can absorb those changes?
Yeah, TK knows, best here, probably knows what I'm gonna say, but our CEO actually made an initiative last year for the entire year of 2022. We are not to rollout. Anyone, anything. So we actually took a year off because when the pandemic hit, we like everyone. We're looking at every solution we could to help our centers deal with this pandemic. And we were forced to roll things out much faster than we normally would have and there was multiple different things as well. And so we saw the burnout come from that and 2021. And so, that initiative of taking a year off and recognizing as an organization, we needed to take some time. We needed to allow staff to digest and optimize. the platforms. We currently have initiated in 2021. And so I would say rack. I'd recommend just look at what you're, where you're at.
Now, do you see that staff or experiencing some of the items that we described today with the burnout? If so, then it's probably to take a break. And I can tell you, it's done really good things for us and for us to take that time off and just allow staff to digest everything we've been doing minutes, including. It's it's helping to bring our optimization of those platforms up to. So I think that's important. Look at the current optimization that you have with your platforms.
If those are low percentages, it's probably not wise to allow anything until you either look at those and decide whether or not that truly is a platform you really should be using, and you're getting bang for your buck, or do we need to re-educate and get everybody back up to optimizing that platform before you're looking at a new solution. So that's going to vary. But that would be the advice I'd give.
Yeah, point, just to add to that, if, if anyone's questioning, you know, how well does my company use this system, it's appropriate to reach out to your tech partner and ask them: what does my utilization look like and as mysteries, but if it's a low utilization, it might be a chance to take a step back, do some training before you start looking at, you know, another program to add to your organization.
Great. Thank you.
So, we have just one minute left, I think if we can fit one more question in for Misty can you give us an example of something you've taken off the plate of your care staff by implementing technology solution? Um, what are some low hanging fruit we can think about?
No, communication wise, I think, implementing a platform, you know, we had to do notifications to family, anytime we had a new positive case, encode that, right. And so, by implementing a platform that does a mass text system to all the residents and their representatives that there's a new case for that Center. and they can communicate outside of that to you, like to let them know. We're having a barbecue coming up, you know, to celebrate Halloween, and here's the times, and can't wait to see you, that eliminated the workload of somebody sitting in that center, and making phone call after a phone call, after phone call, or sending out letters in the mail, And then that was delayed, and that's still causing extra workload to that staff member that was assigned to that. And so, by implementing a technology platform that can just shoot out a mass texts like that, was one example of how you can eliminate a huge work burden, just by implementing something so simple.
Fantastic, thank you. So, we've just reached an hour, so we'll go ahead and wrap things up. You all so much for attending. Again, we'll send out an e-mail with the presentation slides, and we'll follow up with a second e-mail with the recording of the presentation. So, again, thank you all, and have a great day.
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