Hospitals should focus on reducing staff workload and human errors. Source: Shutterstock

Hospitals should focus on reducing staff workload and human errors. Source: Shutterstock

How automation is taking some of the burden for healthcare workers

The concept of going digital can sometimes be misinterpreted as hoarding complex technologies in a bid to be more advanced, which is actually inaccurate.

Instead, going digital means deploying technological solutions to help improve processes and solve operational issues that are hampering an organization from achieving its goals. Chief information officers (CIOs) know this best.

Hua Chiew Hospital CIO Panuratn Thanyasiri recently revealed in an interview that a successful digital transformation within the healthcare space must satisfy certain efficiency and productivity benchmarks.

Specifically, he elaborated that the key to success relies on whether or not the digital strategies implemented and solutions deployed result in the reduction of healthcare providers’ workload burden and errors.

True enough, back-office workloads have been affecting the performance of doctors and medical staff in delivering patient-care services. In fact, according to a study, doctors who spend more time on administrative tasks have lower career satisfaction.

Thanyasiri, who was once a cardiologist, explained that going digital should benefit the staff while at the same time, improve the delivery of healthcare services.

He explained that while administrative tasks are part of the staff’s workload, they are essentially unnecessary and burdening, as they limit staff from focusing on patient care

Not only that, the CIO explained that this burden then result in medical data that are ridden with human errors. Especially when it comes to tasks like transcribing and data-entry which by right, requires high focus and attention, and an ample investment of time.

With an immense amount of affordable digital tools available in the market, hospitals can now easily automate these tasks and improve work processes for their staff.

He emphasized the fact that reduced workload and fewer errors would significantly impact how staff can deliver excellent services as he shared that the vision for the Hua Chiew Hospital is to “improve patient care and drive sustainable business growth.”

Additionally, he also made it clear that digitalization should result in operational processes that are easier to manage. The systems and devices used must be easy to operate — allowing staff to focus on attending to patients instead of configuring complex technology.

One of the primary focuses is to develop a standard interface system that would allow information to flow from one device to another. He pointed out that an effective standard interface enables data from medical devices to be delivered smoothly to the health information system.

Having achieved this would mark a success in a hospital’s digital transformation journey which is admittedly true because going digital is an emphasis on greater efficiency and higher productivity. After all, improving operations and driving efforts towards delivering patient-centric services can only result in greater business development opportunities.