How Patient Engagement Tools Can Reduce Nurse Workload

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One of the most commonly reported problems within many hospital systems both throughout the United States and on a global scale is a much too heavy workload for nurses and other staff members. In fact, a study published in British Medical Journal found that an astounding 86 percent of nurses reported ending their shifts without having finished all of their required tasks due to lack of time [1].

Eighty-six percent of nurses reported ending their shifts without having finished all of their required tasks due to lack of time.

While undelivered care is believed to account for significant decreases in both the quality of care and patient safety within hospitals across the globe, nurses still only have so many hours in the day to perform all necessary tasks [1]. Thus, one highly cost-effective and efficient solution is to use automated patient engagement tools to help reduce nurse workload and therefore also increase the quality and safety of the care that they are able to deliver.

By utilizing a patient engagement platform such as the Tine Health PRM solution, hospitals could help to reduce nurse workload and improve patient care in these ways.

1. Performing Administrative Tasks

Due to reduced staffing in many hospital systems, nurses are often burdened with administrative tasks that would otherwise be outside of their job descriptions. Answering patient phone calls, coordinating appointments, and even making appointment reminder phone calls all take away vital time that nurses could be spending at a patient’s bedside. Additionally, studies have shown that nurses who feel that their workload is overwhelming are more likely to become dissatisfied with their jobs and feel mentally drained and “burnt out” in their careers than those who have a manageable workload [2].

Nurses who feel that their workload is overwhelming are more likely to become dissatisfied with their jobs and feel mentally drained and “burnt out” in their careers.

With an automated messaging system like Tine PRM, many of these administrative tasks can be taken off of nurses’ plates and therefore allow nurses more time to spend providing higher-quality care to their patients.

2. Explaining Pre-Op Instructions

Nurses also dedicate a significant amount of time to explaining pre-surgery instructions to patients, such as what not to eat or drink before an appointment and which medications to take. However, patients are often confused about this information or cannot remember it and subsequently call back and ask a nurse to repeat the instructions.

Instead, hospitals can integrate the Tine PRM platform into daily practices to help reduce nurse workload and increase patient education and satisfaction at the same time. This system gives patients instant access to a bank of video-based instructions before and after their hospital visit. That way, if they can’t remember their pre-op instructions, all they have to do is pull out their phone or tablet and find the information they need.

Similarly, upon discharge, patients often leave with a stack of papers and a foggy memory of their aftercare instructions. Rather than overloading nurses with an influx of patient phone calls and lengthy discharge explanations, the Tine PRM solution can deliver instant post-op instructions, how-to videos, and follow-up prompts.

3. Reducing Medication Errors

According to a study published in the Journal of Research in Pharmacy Practice, more than 86 percent of medication errors are caused by nurses’ heavy workloads [3]. There are a number of factors that contribute to these types of errors, which can put patient health and safety at risk. These include lack of time and feeling the need to rush, as well as mental and physical exhaustion to due to an unmanageable workload and, in some cases, mandatory overtime shifts. In this instance, Just in Time training can be an invaluable tool to help nurses double-check medication and procedure instructions.

More than 86 percent of medication errors are caused by nurses’ heavy workloads.

Another common problem associated with medication errors is lack of patient education and knowledge. Once they arrive home, many patients are unsure about which medications they should take, how many, and how often. With Tine’s PRM solution, patients can instantly check their medication schedule and eliminate the need to call the hospital to find this information.

The Bottom Line

Automated messaging and end-to-end patient engagement systems such as Tine PRM and Tine Just in Time training can help to not only reduce nurse workload, but also improve patient care and safety.

Of course, this isn’t to say that nurses would spend less time with patients. In fact, nurses would have more available time to give higher quality care to their patients using the Tine system. In addition, a reduced workload would give nurses the mental and physical capacity to feel more satisfied and fulfilled performing their jobs, which ultimately boosts patient care and satisfaction.

If you’re interested in seeing the Tine PRM solution in action, you can schedule a demo online, or take a look at the Tine FAQ page for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

 

 

[1] British Medical Journal

[2] Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

[3] Journal of Research in Pharmacy Practice

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