Overwhelmed and stressed healthcare staff members are re-evaluating how their careers factor into their overall well-being. For many workers, long hours and high-stress situations negatively impact their work lives. Twenty-three percent of surveyed healthcare workers report that they are likely to leave the field soon. Burnout is a symptom of an improperly managed workplace. If left unaddressed, burnout can leave organizations in a crisis of unmet demands.
Healthcare organizations are scrambling to find a fix. Hospitals have seen a surge in service utilization during the pandemic. Faced with a worker shortage and increased process tasks, healthcare leadership is turning to alternative solutions to address challenges: implementing technology in new and innovative ways to decrease employee workload and speed up processing power.
An automated payment system can help improve efficiency and lessen the burden put on staff. By automating processes that would normally demand staff time and effort, organizations can improve workflow and produce faster results, with less difficulty. Hospital systems are shifting to software improvements for improved electronic health records and patient payment platforms. The future of medical billing in health payment systems necessitates that organizations adapt (and ultimately thrive).
Staff Shortages and Burnout in the Healthcare Industry
During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare organizations have seen a surge in burnout among staff. With burnout comes an increase in staff turnover. The cyclical nature of burnout and turnover creates a dangerous trend for hospital organizations where increased resources are needed for training new employees while increasing the burden on existing employees.
Hospital CEOs ranked workforce shortages as their top concern last year, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives’ annual survey. “This is the first time since 2004 that financial challenges have moved from the most significant challenge to the second position. Both long- and short-term solutions are needed to address the shortages in critical front-line staff shown in our study to ensure hospitals have workforces that can meet the demands for safe, high-quality care both today and in the future,” said Deborah J. Bowen, CACHE, CAE, president and CEO of ACHE.
The effect of workforce shortages on burnout is clear. According to an Arch Collaborative study, burnout rates rose 26 percent from 2018 to 2022, with 34 percent of providers reporting at least some degree of burnout. Multiple factors were cited as contributing to burnout, including a chaotic work environment, lack of effective teamwork, and lack of autonomy. However, one of the largest contributing factors to burnout in 2022 was staffing shortages, with 40 percent of surveyed providers selecting it as a component.
One surprising trend to emerge was the impact of technology on healthcare burnout. Electronic health records (EHR) can be both a blessing and a curse. For those organizations with less than optimal training and unsupportive IT teams, healthcare staff often feel frustrated and powerless when dealing with their EHR. Burnout rates are higher among healthcare staff that feel their EHR needs are insufficiently met by IT and support personnel. EHR challenges often lead to increased after-hour workloads and the resulting greater frustration for employees.
Increasing Healthcare Staff Efficiency Using an Automated Payment System
The question remains of how to best address hospital staff burnout. While culture changes are integral to the process, human resource approaches take time and buy-in for mass effect. To combat burnout and decrease turnover, healthcare executives must find ways to reduce stress and lower demands on employees. Improved technology resources are one action that can help meet employee needs.
Technology has to be designed with the user in mind. While systems are complex, interfaces need to be presented in a way that conveys simplicity. Using backend integration, newer methods are easing user stress by automating processes and increasing system efficiency. The result is a change in experience for hospital staff: employees complete tasks faster and with less frustration.
Making good use of an automated payment system can help increase staff efficiency. By automating processes that would normally require manual staff, task flows can be reorganized and optimized. Automation also increases accuracy. By removing the human-error factor, automated workflows can compete with greater precision and speed. Customizable dashboards can provide in-depth monitoring of progress and performance.
By utilizing a reliable technological interface with training on the platform, hospital staff experience lower levels of stress. In fact, studies show that high trust in organizational leadership and technology is correlated with lower provider burnout (16 percentage points lower). Provider staff who trust their leadership/IT teams and chart after-hours for less than five hours per week have an average burnout rate 19 percentage points lower than other providers.
HealthPay 24: An Automated Payment Solution
Integration is an integral part of HealthPay24. We integrate with existing EMR, billing, PM, and estimation systems to simplify workflows and processes, allowing for one comprehensive payment view that summarizes the patient payment responsibility.
HealthPay 24 features automated workflows and processes that allow your team to drive performance and effectively influence patient financial engagement across the entire care journey. Automated postings allow your team to experience a more efficient reconciliation.
Our platform features customizable reports and in-depth insights beyond traditional automated payment system dashboards so you can quickly identify and monitor performance and track patient satisfaction.
Configurable work queues allow you to configure rule- and role-based permissions based on your organization’s needs, optimize workflows, and enhance your patient payment collection process.
Within the patient portal, the difference is immediate. Customers can see updates to their balances quickly. Estimation tools help patients anticipate their payment. Automated processes remove the element of surprise and enable stress-free approaches to tackling payment plans.
Omni-channel engagement allows for multiple payment methods for a trusted, secure payment experience. Automated notifications empower your organization to send notifications for payment due dates, balances, and past-due notices directly to a patient’s phone number or email address for a quicker response.
Paying the bill is the last step of care for patients. An improved payment experience leaves a lasting impression and improves their overall view of care. Automation reduces error and the burden of manual entry on staff and allows them to shift focus to direct patient care. The result is improved patient satisfaction and loyalty for your organization.
Learn More about HealthPay24
HealthPay24 delivers more. With an innovative, thoughtful design, HealthPay24 puts your patient engagement challenges in the past. As a streamlined solution, our platform puts more power in the hands of the patient with easily accessible affordability options, cost estimation tools, and payment plans.
Visit HealthPay24 today to learn more about how you can use our automated payment system to improve your patient payment workflow.