Novel answer to healthcare crisis: Diagnose the problem, then fix it
- Posted on March 9, 2023
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Clinicians – everyone from doctors and nurses to orderlies and technicians – are leaving. They aren’t quitting to go to a better job in healthcare. They are leaving healthcare altogether.
And while there are always many reasons a person decides to make such a drastic career move, one I hear often is an accumulation of major and minor workplace frustrations that over time impact their ability to do what they are most passionate about: caring for their patients.
Healthcare systems are actively looking for ways to ease clinicians’ burdens, yet in my conversations with clients I find that too often their well-intentioned attempts to solve the problem don’t involve actually talking with those who are most impacted.
Listen, learn, act
One of the reasons I enjoy being Avanade’s Avanade X Workplace Experience practice lead in North America is that we do things differently. We dig deep. We listen. In the healthcare industry, that means we get to know the clinicians and how they work. We learn what frustrates them most. And then, together with everyone involved, from nurses in exam rooms and laboratory personnel to healthcare IT and the C-suite, we begin to build practical solutions to those frustrations one at a time.
By combining the information we gain and our technology expertise, we can often quickly build a software-based solution and test it in real-world conditions to see if it solves the problem. If it doesn’t, we adjust. If it does, we move on to the next irritation on the list.
Good employee experiences let the team know they are heard. They know the team takes their concerns seriously and they participate in projects that are customized specifically to make their work life more fulfilling. They feel appreciated and their job satisfaction increases.
This is the approach we used at Seattle Children’s Hospital. When we arrived, we knew it would be essential to understand what the clinicians really needed, and that approach is what won the day. Because we took the time to build rapport, we were able to start solving true clinician challenges.
One priority project was to optimize how “virtual rounds,” which allows doctors to complete their rounds remotely, are conducted. Based on the requirements we gathered from those who would be using the new virtual system:
- We created training content that could be digested a few minutes at a time, to help those who could not attend in-person training sessions.
- We walked every inch of the hospital’s floors with smart devices to test for Wi-Fi reliability.
- We made sure the equipment required to conduct virtual rounds wouldn’t weigh down the nursing carts to the point that nurses had difficulty moving them.
- We called in our own support desk to answer questions and we even equipped the project team with treats to take when they arrived at clinician shift changes to explain how the new system would benefit them.
The project was successful because we understood how the clinicians work, what was important to them and how they need to get stuff done. A source of daily frustration was eliminated.
By incorporating Avanade X principles, we can help organizations improve their employees’ experience in meaningful, human-centered ways that truly matter to them. And while not every problem in healthcare can be solved with this approach, you would be surprised to learn how many can. All you need to do is conduct a thorough examination, gather whatever information is required to make an accurate diagnosis and take care of the problem.