Blog | Nov 9, 2022

How Huma technology can reduce burnout on virtual wards

Feelings of failure, helplessness, detachment, loss of motivation, and feeling unable to cope are all symptoms of burnout. While this phenomenon is experienced by workers the world over, it becomes increasingly worrisome when it can impact other people’s health outcomes.

The National Training Survey found that “the risk of [physician] burnout is now at its worst since it was first tracked in 2018.” An alarming 44% of physicians felt “exhausted in the morning at the thought of another day at work.” Another study found that “40% of physicians report at least one symptom of burnout”. They also noted that physicians are at an increased risk of burnout relative to people in other fields. Worrying findings when nations around the world, including the UK, are facing “crippling shortages” of doctors.

Expectations are high when you hold people’s lives in your hands, so it is little wonder that physicians report emotional exhaustion and feeling overextended. When faced with burnout, many often have to deal with increasing depersonalization and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment as well; leading to poor work-life balance and career dissatisfaction. The choice to become a healthcare provider is a very personal one, often made for altruistic reasons. But stresses from the pandemic and staffing shortages have caused a three-fold increase in career choice regret and a corresponding increase in turnover for physicians.

A study from the British Medical Journal found that burnout is associated with a four-fold decrease in job satisfaction and feeling of personal accomplishment. Those feeling weighed down by their jobs also showed a decrease in professionalism, and reports of patient satisfaction declined. The study also found that physicians feeling burned out are also less productive.

Perhaps the most worrying finding from the study was the risk to patient safety. The authors found that physicians feeling burned out were twice as likely to make mistakes. These real-world impacts can lead to life-threatening consequences now and in the future, as more physicians might be tempted to leave their job if things don’t change.

“The risk of [physician] burnout is now at its worst since it was first tracked in 2018.”

- national training survey

Combating burnout with digital health tools to increase patient safety by decreasing stress on providers

Huma’s “hospital at home” technology is relieving pressure on overworked physicians by making it easier to support remote patient monitoring. Our hospital at home platform can help reduce stress and pressure on overwhelmed providers by giving them the ability to monitor patients remotely, enabling better access to care for patients and increasing clinicians’ efficiency and productivity. Keeping patients at home for as long as possible or discharging them from hospital early allows them all the comforts of home, while still giving the providers access to critical vital signs and patient information.

Research has shown the hospital at home platform can almost double clinical capacity and reduce readmission rates by >30%. Our flexible platform allows physicians to configure the app based on each patient’s needs, delivering targeted education and empowering patients to better track and manage their health. By giving providers real-time access to the data, care teams can have direct communication with patients at home and set custom thresholds to alert them when a patient needs prioritizing.

We look beyond technological expertise to include important input from those who know and understand the needs of patients best, their care providers. Healthcare is a team effort – when patients enter the hospital, they have a team of nurses, physicians, and administrative staff around them to ensure their health and safety. Our digital technology uses a similar integrative approach, bringing in not only health expertise but also user design and experience knowledge to make a platform that is easy to use, pleasant to engage with, and effective. Huma already supports over 3,000 hospitals and clinics through our secure platform. Because we designed the platform with the patient in mind, we are able to maintain high engagement rates, with 90-95% adherence and retention rates across care and research1, offering a new care option that is beneficial for both patients and providers.

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