3 Ways to Ease Pressure on Overworked Practice Staff

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Healthcare staff are under more pressure than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the traditionally busy winter period even worse. 

Any opportunity to simplify arrivals, improve patient flow, and automate manual processes will be vital in helping practice staff cope with the demands of the ongoing health crisis. 

With this in mind, here are three ways to alleviate the pressure on overworked staff by using digital technology.  

1. Simplify Arrivals with Self-Check-in

With extra paperwork, a growing volume of patient queries, and daily admin to contend with staff need support wherever they can get it. Add manual check-in into the mix and it's easy to see how staff can quickly become overwhelmed.  

An easy way to alleviate some of this pressure is by setting up a self-check-in system to help simplify the arrival process. 

Patient self-check-in software helps staff:

  • Automate data collection
  • Reduce unnecessary queuing
  • Improve productivity

Patients can check-in in seconds with a few taps of the screen, saving time for staff by removing unnecessary admin. Check-in kiosks can also capture vital information, provide directions around the practice, and ensure patients get settled quickly.

Mobile self-check-in apps take this one step further. These apps let patients check-in remotely straight from their phone or tablet. Once checked-in, they can follow an on-screen notification and head directly to the treatment room. 

This gives patients greater control over their appointments and frees up staff, so they can focus on those that need it the most. 

How can digital technology improve the patient experience? See our infographic  to find out. 

2. Adopt a Digital Patient Calling System

A patient calling system is one of the most vital aspects of any GP practice. Without it, things can quickly become chaotic, disorganised, and disruptive for staff and patients alike. If your practice relies on outdated, manual calling then you could be adding even more duties onto an ever-growing to-do list for staff. 

With digital patient calling, you can streamline the calling process and reduce the amount of basic clerical duties staff have to perform.

Staff can use a patient call module to call patients directly from their desktop or browser. This means there's less delay between appointments, reducing waiting times and helping staff stay productive.

Additionally, digital technology reduces the amount of physical interactions staff need to have with patients. And with social distancing guidelines and COVID-19 measures still in place, this makes it easier to stay in line with the rules, while still providing a smooth patient experience.

3. Use Telehealth to Your Advantage

Telehealth can offer many advantages over the traditional healthcare visit, but until recently, it was largely underutilised. The COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed that, and accelerated its adoption like never before. 

The main uses of telehealth include:

  • Remote appointments over video call
  • Sharing healthcare information and advice through digital media
  • Monitoring patient wearables 
  • Doctor-patient communication via mobile messaging

Aside from being convenient, easy-to-access, and accessible for patients, telehealth also provides advantages for office and clinical staff.

Video appointments make everyone more efficient by removing the administrative overhead of in-person visits. Readily available and digitally shared healthcare information promotes self-care and higher adherence to treatments. And reception staff benefit from less waiting room crowding while also reducing their exposure to illness.

Crucially, telehealth encourages patients to take more responsibility for their own healthcare, which results in lower repeat admissions and higher health literacy. 

Use Technology to Support Staff

There's no denying the pressure that frontline medical staff are under at the moment.

To help alleviate some of the strain, technology can help streamline tedious processes. Giving staff access to digital tools to save time, reduce admin, and provide some much needing breathing room. 

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