Healthcare providers are under more pressure than ever to provide better care and improve patient outcomes despite clinical resource scarcity, high turnover, and burn-out. Staffing shortages of physicians and nurses, growing populations in need of care, and rising costs create real barriers to exceptional care.
Critical healthcare staff—especially clinicians—have finite time, so time lost due to IT challenges is gone forever. Likewise, IT Support has finite resources to identify and resolve issues, so how should they prioritize their efforts? What if we could know which issues had the greatest impact on clinical productivity and care delivery? What if we could know about issues that users have not reported? Wouldn’t that be a better way to support clinical and other essential staff?
Digital transformation has improved the efficiency of hospitals and health systems overall, but we have forced clinicians to spend more time interacting with technology as part of delivering care. Application crashes, workstation malfunctions, and slow response times disrupt clinicians’ digital experience, which has a direct impact on the quality of the patient encounter.
Clinicians also do not have time to report or resolve IT issues, which prevents IT staff from having a complete picture of relevant issues. With the right actionable insights, IT can effectively prioritize issues and address the most pressing disruptions quickly, those that can truly improve clinical efficiency, satisfaction, and drive a better patient experience.
Clinicians’ time is our scarcest resource, and every moment lost is one that cannot be reclaimed. The efficiency of each clinician’s interaction with technology directly affects the patient experience. If a terminal crashes or is slow during a patient visit, that is time lost for the clinician and the patient. This frustrating digital experience lowers morale and contributes to fatigue and burn-out.
Despite the critical nature of clinicians’ technological dependence and experience, we generally do not have the right tools to assess and improve it.
This is the essence of Digital Experience Management: having actionable information to resolve issues that will have the most impact on the quality of users’ experience – especially clinicians. In any environment, we will have a large set of things we could change, which leaves the question of how to prioritize. Digital Experience Management puts focus on the changes that will improve the digital experience of critical users and allows us to measure the impact of those changes.
Healthcare has long discussed its challenges as an optimization problem, constantly improving the efficacy of care, the efficiency of operations, and shortening the time between discoveries and applied treatments. Yet no matter what we learn, build, and apply, we can never address every need because we shall always be bound by fundamental limitations of time and resources.
While digital transformation has enabled healthcare efficiency at a macro level, it has imposed new operating constraints on our caregivers. Time facing terminals is time not facing patients, and any delay or difficulty accessing essential information via clinical applications is time lost and reduced productivity.
As we look to focus on the needs of clinicians in their roles, we must give due attention to the quality of their digital experience and deploy platforms that give us the right insights upon which we can act to make notable improvements and measure the impact. There is no more valuable focus than digital experience to drive change priority; without such insights, we’re guessing about the true scope and nature of issues we address.
Supporting clinical staff as they deliver care to our communities is yet another finite capability: with a limited amount of time to resolve issues, which issue you focus on matters. The critical question is: How can we decide where to focus?
Clinical and critical staff experience holds the answer. We must understand the behavior of systems and applications they are using, and we must know how staff feel about the quality of their experience. Sentiment is an oft-overlooked element of experience because it is difficult to assess. Infrequent, low-response surveys are common, but they do not provide actionable insight due to both their scarcity and paucity of actionable insights.
If we have the information about which problems are impacting overall experience and the perceived impact, we can begin to remediate issues that directly affect productivity and satisfaction across the entire health system. A digital experience management tool gathers performance data from workstations, terminals, local operating systems, running applications, session-based computing, VDI, and within the browser to understand what users actually experience. We then layer the sentiment analysis onto this technical information to effectively prioritize the issues impacting the greatest number of clinical staff, thus improving the clinical efficiency of staff across the board.
If we allow our gaps in knowledge and understanding to continue to limit the impact of our efforts to deliver care and support those who do, we will continue to fall short of our potential. Only by gathering data about clinicians’ actual experience and prioritizing change accordingly can we make the best use of IT’s finite time to deliver markedly better outcomes. It’s time to take a good hard look at Digital Experience so we put clinicians and caregivers in the best position to succeed, for the benefit of everyone.