Staff Wellness: Ways to Keep Your Staff Healthy and Productive
The connection between wellness and productivity has never been clearer.
Updated October 31, 2023.
In many ways, the healthcare industry mirrors others when it comes to the relationship between staff wellness and productivity. When individuals are well, their motivation and performance naturally improve. However, what sets the healthcare industry apart is that the concept of wellness is relatively new to the field. Its significance was particularly highlighted in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought significant burnout and a workforce exodus in the healthcare profession.
While it's evident that professionals perform better when well, medicine has been slow to integrate wellness into its DNA. Only recently has there been a growing awareness of the importance of wellness for hospital staff, recognizing that it can enhance productivity.
Meet the Expert
Recognizing the Problem
For hospitals—or any organization—it's crucial to first acknowledge the problem. Professionals need a work-life balance. In academic centers, the expectation is to be a full-time clinician, researcher, and educator simultaneously. It's a lot to manage without adequate protected time, and many senior physicians depart due to the lack of work-life balance.
Moreover, in healthcare roles involving shifts, nights, and weekends, there's often no clear beginning or end to a workday. The work is ongoing, and there's always something more to learn and do. This constant challenge, combined with a system that doesn't prioritize wellness, makes it difficult for healthcare professionals to thrive.
In recognizing the main issue, it's clear that the industry needs to ensure appropriate working conditions. Being a clinician is more than a calling that requires sacrificing one's personal life. Ultimately, when professionals are content and fulfilled, they perform better, leading to improved patient outcomes.
Creating a Supportive Work Environment
How can healthcare facilities create a work environment that supports work-life balance? Like any industry, technology has the potential to revolutionize processes and workflows. Historically, in medicine, there has been a heavy reliance on manual methods, often resorting to pen and paper. The introduction of technology can automate many of these tasks and streamline operations.
However, what we've observed in the healthcare industry is that, while technology has been introduced, much of it hasn't been designed with clinicians in mind. Many apps, platforms, and innovations are primarily patient-focused rather than provider-centric. There's a notable lack of technological solutions aimed specifically at health professionals.
Our platform is designed with a clear purpose: to improve the lives of clinicians. It's tailored for all health professionals, with the entire design and implementation process steered by providers themselves. This means:
- You have easy access to all relevant information, including administrative, clinical, and practical knowledge.
- It's simple to update any information and send notifications to all users. Plus, the platform will let you know if it's time to review any data.
- Information is available in mobile-friendly content formats so it's easy to work with.
- Advanced analytics lets you measure content consumption so you can remove any gaps in knowledge dissemination.
Dr. Daniel Katz (Vice Chair of Education, Department of Anesthesia, Mount Sinai) shares his experience of C8 Health's platform:
Challenges in Accessing and Applying Medical Protocols: A Short Case Study
To illustrate the challenges we face, let's look at an example. I once treated a patient with a unique condition, but the treatment was simple: plasma exchange. This treatment isn't an everyday procedure and involves a machine unfamiliar to many. We were aware that a protocol existed, but this was before the era of digitalized protocols, and we had no clue where to find it.
After searching for five hours, I finally found the protocol—on a paper from 2002. This scenario highlights several issues:
- Without a digitized system, it's challenging to locate specific protocols.
- Even when you find them, there's the matter of their validity. Can you trust a protocol from 2002? Is it updated? Is it still relevant?
In this case, we were dealing with a patient with a severe condition. Even after finding the protocol, the practical challenge remained: nobody knew how to execute the procedure. While there was a guideline for this, if you can't access it promptly, you're left stranded.
In medicine, you can't afford to take risks because the potential for harm is significant. You need clarity and guidance. While the situation I described was extreme, we encounter similar challenges on a day-to-day basis. It's about knowing which "button" to push, and when you don't, it's not only frustrating but also makes you feel like you're failing the patient.
A Digital Solution
The connection between staff wellness and productivity in healthcare is undeniable. It's a complex issue that requires recognition, support, and the right tools. The experiences shared here shed light on the challenges faced in the healthcare industry and how technology when designed with clinicians in mind, can play a pivotal role in improving staff wellness and ultimately enhancing patient care.
This is why C8 Health was created: to bridge the knowledge gap in healthcare and make best practices available to healthcare workers everywhere. Our user-friendly platform makes it easy for healthcare professionals to access the knowledge they need, when they need it, saving valuable time.