4 Ways To Tackle Healthcare Workforce Burnout Using Digital Health

Healthcare workplace demands and the constant pursuit of success often lead to one detrimental phenomenon: Workforce Burnout. As many people work from home thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lines between work and home life are blurring. And it has rather become easy to be overwhelmed and exhausted. But there’s hope: digital health.

Whether through mindfulness exercises, virtual therapy sessions, or even just taking a break to move and stretch, digital health tools provide a convenient and accessible way to prioritize our mental health and combat burnout. This blog will explore 4 ways to use digital health solutions to tackle healthcare workforce burnout.

Workforce burnout is a condition of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by extreme and prolonged stress at work. It is a feeling of chronic fatigue and a loss of motivation and enthusiasm for one’s career. It occurs when employees feel berated, emotionally depleted, and unable to match the constant demands of their job. Such a state can negatively impact a worker’s productivity, health, and overall quality of life.

The UN’s specialized agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), recognizes burnout as an occupational phenomenon. According to a Gallup survey, full-time workers experience burnout at a rate of two-thirds. Additionally, the American Psychological Association reports that burnout increases healthcare costs and decreases job satisfaction.

How To Spot an Employee Battling through a Burnout?

  • The employee is Increasingly irritable day by day.
  • Has a lot of disagreements with coworkers or supervisors.
  • Shows physical symptoms of anxiety, headaches, insomnia, and stomach problems.
  • Has extended work absences and drastically lost productivity.
  • Shows cynicism with negative remarks and frustration with colleagues and the organization.
  • Shows a tendency to withdraw from colleagues rather than remain social.
  • Demotivated, disinterested, and unproductive.
  • Decreased ability to perform tasks that previously were manageable.

What Contributes To a Burnout?

  • Pushing Physical & Mental Limits
  • Cognitive Loads
  • Inadequate Emotional & Pain Management Support

Digital Health and its Potential Role in Addressing Workforce Burnout Issues

The world has gotten remote. Employees working on laptops and in comfort face more burnout than regular office-based employees. Having said so, whether we’re talking about a remote or office-based employee, burnout is burnout. The effects of it won’t be any different.

Moreover, Burnout issues are a significant organizational problem that leads to:

  • Reduced employee engagement,
  • High turnover rates, and
  • Decreased profits.

Although employees turn to pain management and supplements centers for relief or even consider vitamin supplements to improve their physical health, the issue goes far beyond physical well-being.

So are digital health solutions an answer to all of this?—Question we must all ask!

The journal published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research supports using digital interventions to alleviate stress and pain, thereby mitigating workforce burnout. A systematic review of 69 studies found that digital health solutions can reduce burnout by up to 27%.

If “digital health” is a new concept, digital health is the technology that helps manage and improve health and healthcare-related activities. Some of its examples are wearable devices, telemedicine, mobile health apps, electronic health records, and more.

Digital health addresses workforce burnout by providing remote and telemedicine services. One example of a digital health solution is mindfulness-based training, effectively reducing burnout among healthcare providers. An analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that mindfulness-based stress reduction reduced burnout among healthcare workers by 10%.

The growing body of research suggests that digital health has great potential to mitigate the negative effects of burnout among employees everywhere. And we will likely see a significant reduction in workforce burnout due to digital health.

Ways for Tackling Workforce Burnout Using Digital Tools

Although the beast of ‘burnout’ threatens the team’s productivity and mental and physical health. But as a leader of the modern age, cutting-edge digital tools are at your fingertips.

Now that we know how digital health can be an important leverage to cut through burnout issues let’s begin with different strategies and actions to tackle workforce stress with digital health tools.

Strategy 1: Implementing Digital Mental Health Interventions

  • Description: Digital mental health interventions can provide various evidence-based psychological treatments through mobile apps, websites, or telehealth services.
  • Evidence: A Journal of Medical Internet Research study found that digital mental health interventions result in “modest but significant improvements” in well-being, depression, and anxiety.
  • Action: Introducing digital therapy platforms like Talkspace for employees to access professional mental health support remotely.

Strategy 2: Encouraging Wearable Technology for Stress Management

  • Description: Wearable technology can track and monitor various biometric data, such as heart rate variability (HRV), to give users insights into their stress levels and overall well-being.
  • Evidence: A review published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that measuring HRV can be a valuable tool in stress management.
  • Action: Encourage employees to wear stress-reducing devices like Fitbit to monitor stress levels and take proactive measures for stress reduction.

Strategy 3: Leveraging Virtual Reality

  • Description: Virtual reality (VR) has become an increasingly popular tool for stress reduction and well-being enhancement. VR can create immersive, virtual environments that allow users to practice relaxation techniques, explore calming scenes, and engage in guided meditation.
  • Evidence: A study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that using VR for relaxation and stress management effectively reduces psychological distress.
  • Action: Introducing VR platforms like Calm that offer guided meditation sessions during and tranquilizing visual environments to reduce stress levels and promote employee well-being.

Strategy 4: Utilizing Digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Programs

  • Description: Digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) programs are a form of psychological treatment delivered through online platforms or apps where individuals can access therapeutic content and tools that help them better manage their emotions and behavior, build resilience, and improve their mental health over time.
  • Evidence: A meta-analysis from the journal Clinical Psychology Review found evidence of CBT’s effectiveness in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobia, somatization, eating disorders, anger issues, and substance abuse problems, among other conditions.
  • Action: Offering digital CBT platforms such as LifeArmor to employees as a resource to help them better manage their emotions and reduce workplace burnout.

Conclusion

Digital health solutions have the potential to address workforce burnout issues. Solutions such as digital therapies, wearable technologies, VR platforms, and CBT platforms can help provide effective interventions for employee burnout. By leveraging these digital tools, employers can ensure the quality of self-care while promoting job satisfaction and professional efficacy among healthcare workers.

A retrospective view—digital health has great potential to address burnout issues in the workforce; it is not a silver bullet. It is important to note that technology alone cannot solve the complex problem of burnout. Digital interventions must be combined with other approaches, such as organizational changes and policy reforms, to address the root cause of provider burnout truly.

Note: If you notice persisting anxiety, depression, or any other mental/physical illness in an employee, it’s best to advise them to seek pain management. Or consult a knowledgeable specialist at the Supplements center or Vitamin Supplements.


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