Did you know 68% of nurses put patients’ health, safety and wellness before their own? Learn how technology, retail innovation and updated workflows are keeping nurses healthy and operating at the top of their license by enhancing their experience and shifting non-clinical tasks to support services.
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This video is part of Compass One Healthcare x HealthTrust Podcast Series.
Q: What's going on in the nursing industry? Is it as bad as we think it is out there, because we know so much has changed since COVID and the amount of work these nurses are doing?
Aundrea Mills: One major factor in my role is working with the American Nurses Association and I can tell you the statistics are real. What we're looking at in the next year, 45% of bedside nurses say they're leaving the bedside. We're talking 2 million nurses out of 4.2 million nurses planning to leave in the next year from the inpatient setting. So, the work we're doing is so important to support them.
Q: I had no idea. So we're going to be losing a lot. Potentially. But hopefully with what we're going to talk about today, that might not happen. This really isn’t a big surprise, is it?
Saima Khan: No, unfortunately not. We knew post-pandemic about these numbers. But to continue to hear this, it's definitely disheartening to hear. But, we're partnering, we're bringing a lot of technology, a lot of digital solutions to fruition, which we think can help alleviate some of that burden for sure. I think we've talked a little bit about some of these solutions before, but the opportunity is going to be from a data standpoint when it comes to digital and technology and tying those data points together, which are going to be able to alleviate some of the burden off of our nursing staff.
Aundrea Mills: When they talk about leaving, the number one reason is increased workload, so what we do to eliminate that is so important.
Q: Let's talk a little bit about how technology is starting to affect the field. What are some of the groundbreaking things that are making the nurses’ jobs a little easier, a little more tangible?
Aundrea Mills: Technology and clinical nutrition partnering, is brilliant. We look at solutions that eliminate some of the redundant tasks of nurses that are administrative, allowing them to be back at the bedside. Whether it's retail solutions bringing sustainable food and nutrition to the nurses or whether it's digital flow work boards that prevent the nurses from being on the phone for long periods of time, technology can keep nursers practicing at the top of their license.
Q: How does technology continue to evolve with our needs?
Saima Khan: One thing for certain with technology is that it's going to continue to evolve and that’s important for us within the Compass Health Care Digital. That's really our role to partner with Aundrea and other clinicians that we have in-house to make sure what we're building is not just building technology for the sake of building technology. We want to ensure that we're partnering and bringing solutions that are going to bring relief, whether it's from a workload standpoint or to just simply give nurses access to food on their shifts, because they’re focused on patient care as opposed to themselves.
Aundrea Mills: So that's a good point because we know that 70% of the nurses will trend to their patients’ care over their own self-care, which is the servant heart of the nurse. So, when you talk about bringing sustainable, healthy options to the nurses, it's really important.
Q: To elaborate a little bit on technology, are we making retail on the floor a reality?
Saima Khan: Yes and it can be something as simple as badge pay integration. Usually on a 12-hour shift, typically a nurse is not going to be carrying around cash or a credit card, so for us to be able to take a badge, integrate it and put in truly frictionless options. And then there's just simple things that in this day and age, you expect. Mobile ordering from the nursing floor and having that delivered can be a major benefit. Self-checkout provides lots of opportunity. We're also taking that technology up to the nursing floor as well. From a retail standpoint, they may not even have to walk downstair to have access to high-quality, healthy food.
Aundrea Mills: Speaking of technology, phone wait times is one of the most prevalent clerical tasks keeping nurse from being practicing at the top of her license. We're going to talk a little bit about that and how health care digital really supported what we see. And what we see is an opportunity to improve and decrease those wait times on the phone.
Q: Nobody touches a patient more than a nurse, so the technology we can provide will help them with process and time management. Can you elaborate on that?
Aundrea Mills: It's a partnership. Nurses put patients at the forefront of everything we do. When we work together to look at workflow processes and how our team can help the patient, and the clinicians, we're going to see that partnership grow.
Saima Khan: To elaborate a little bit on that, in collaboration with Aundrea, over the past year, we've developed a first application that's designed for our nursing partners. It's a simple, at-a-glance, real-time, data driven application that gives nurses insights into our operations—where a meal is, whether it's been placed, whether it's been delivered to the patient, whether the patient decide not to have the meal. That's already starting to see alleviating some of the burden from a nursing standpoint, where in the past we've heard that there are upwards of 50 calls a day between our staff and the nursing staff to status updates on meals.
Aundrea Mills: That touches a nerve for me. When I think about 50 calls in a day, all I can think about is the wasted time spent tracking meals, ordering meals, supporting the meal process. Now with digital technology, it's at a glance and nurses get that time back and can get back to the patient at the bedside.
Q: It's fascinating that technology is there to speed up things and to make it more efficient, but the data side of it is important. You are collecting data the whole time. That allows you to hone in on what is working. What does that look like in this instance?
Saima Khan: Across Compass One, we have access now to more data than ever, whether it's through third-party partnerships or through our own proprietary solutions. It's starting to give us whole-hospital insights. One example I like to give—if a patient is being transported for an X-ray or an MRI, by using data in real time, we can send an alert down to the kitchen and saying, please just don't deliver their food until they're back. From a workflow alignment standpoint and from a communication standpoint, we're going to continue to piece the data together to really make it a differentiator.
Q: What do you think the nurses are most excited about when we bring technology to them?
Aundrea Mills: I think they're most excited that we consider them. We're considerate of keeping them at the top of their license and that we value the partnership so much that we're listening. The fact is that we prioritize them and we understand the value in our partnership. We bring this information back. We work with our teams. But the fact is that we prioritize them and we understand the value in our partnership. And we're listening. They're excited about that.
Q: Do you think you would give that advice to our partners? that their stuff they work with and the nurses like? What nurses need is for us to listen, to be heard and to be kind of valued that way. Is that fair?
Aundrea Mills: Absolutely. And, you know, keeping them at the top of their license, partnering with services such as what we're bringing to the table. That's so important. Just listening and understanding the partnership.
Q: Where do you see the future going, especially when it comes to nursing in hospitals?
Saima Khan: We already talked about the data piece and how that is going to be super important now and into the future. We're making sure that we utilize all the data that we have in-house, not just from a nursing standpoint, but also from a patient-centric standpoint as well. There's a lot that we're doing as far as putting the patient at the core of everything that we do. From a healthcare digital standpoint, we're building solutions for our nursing partners, as well as non-clinical hospital staff, friends and family that might be in and out of the hospital. We're introducing a patient application for them to be able to download the app and order their own meals, as well as for our operators. Our goal is always to keep that patient in the center of everything we do to deliver patient satisfaction.
Aundrea Mills: Along with that is an emphasis on patient safety, improved outcomes. We bring the nurses back to the bedside and increase safety, so technology is very valuable.