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Healthcare workers are wasting hours of their day doing redundant paperwork. What needs to be done to fix this?

Healthcare organizations face significant inefficiencies, particularly in the management of non-patient related paperwork. The administrative burden of handling numerous forms, reports, and documentation not directly related to patient care can be overwhelming. This inefficiency not only consumes valuable resources but also diverts attention away from the primary goal of providing high-quality patient care.

Physicians, who are at the core of patient care, find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time on these non-patient related tasks. On average, physicians dedicate around eight hours per week to paperwork that doesn’t directly contribute to patient care. This substantial allocation of time to administrative duties highlights a critical area for improvement within healthcare operations.

The majority of this non-patient related paperwork could be significantly reduced through automation and streamlining processes. By implementing technology solutions that automate routine tasks, healthcare organizations can free up physicians’ time, allowing them to focus more on patient care. This not only enhances the efficiency of healthcare providers but also improves the overall quality of care delivered to patients.

“Most organizations don’t measure the amount of paperwork or time their clinical staff are spending on these tasks – they even expect clinicians to handle these tasks in their personal time. This is a ridiculous expectation when you consider the recent report that showed a physician following standard recommendations has a 27 hour workday,” explains DoorSpace CEO Sarah M. Worthy.

The extensive amount of time healthcare workers and physicians spend on paperwork can have profound negative impacts, leading to several significant issues within the healthcare system. Burnout is a major concern, as the constant pressure and time spent on administrative tasks can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion among healthcare professionals. This state of burnout not only diminishes the quality of life for these workers but also affects their ability to provide high-quality care to patients. The continuous cycle of paperwork, far removed from the direct care of patients, can erode the sense of fulfillment and purpose that comes from clinical work, leading to a disenchanted workforce.

Moreover, the diversion of attention to paperwork increases the likelihood of errors in patient care. When healthcare professionals are overwhelmed with paperwork, they may have less time to spend with patients, rushing through important care processes or missing critical information. This heightened risk of mistakes can compromise patient safety and lead to adverse outcomes, undermining the trust between healthcare providers and patients.

Resentment towards healthcare executives and administrators can also grow among healthcare workers who feel burdened by excessive paperwork. This resentment stems from a perception that decision-makers may not fully appreciate the impact of administrative demands on clinical practice. The disconnect between the realities of patient care and the priorities of healthcare administration can widen the gap between frontline workers and executives, fostering a culture of frustration and dissatisfaction. Addressing these challenges requires a concerted effort to reduce bureaucratic burdens and realign the healthcare system’s focus towards patient-centered care.

But what needs to be done to fix this critical issue?

“The truth is that healthcare leaders must measure this back office work and create a workforce strategy that accounts for this additional labor. Executives also need to look beyond paperwork at their employee data management processes. Ultimately, the reason for all this paperwork is to collect and verify information about a clinician’s competencies, experience, and other mission-critical personnel data that needs to be utilized for different departmental functions. At DoorSpace we provide a single source of truth for employee data through our cloud-based platform that makes it easy for clinicians to submit their data ONCE and have that information verified and accessible to all departments from credentialing, onboarding, training, HR, scheduling, and so forth,” states Sarah M. Worthy the CEO and founder of DoorSpace

Sarah M. Worthy is the CEO and founder of DoorSpace, a company that is transforming the way healthcare organizations retain and develop talent while solving critical turnover issues in the healthcare industry. Sarah has over 15 years of experience in the B2B technology and healthcare industries. 

By adopting platforms that offer a single source of truth for employee data, healthcare organizations can significantly reduce the redundancy of paperwork, ensuring that clinicians’ time and expertise are optimally used for patient care. This approach not only addresses the immediate inefficiencies but also lays the groundwork for a more sustainable, focused, and efficient healthcare system. As healthcare leaders move to measure and manage the impact of administrative tasks, the shift towards a more streamlined, patient-centered model of care becomes both a strategic imperative and a moral obligation. The path forward requires a concerted effort to embrace technological solutions, reevaluate workforce strategies, and prioritize the well-being of both patients and healthcare workers alike.

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