Why So Stressed?


Stress is no joke. It’s a chief contributor to many of the
issues people face in their health, relationships, careers, and so on,
eventually leading many to commit suicide. Despite the exponential increase in
technology designed to reduce stressful situations, its impact on professionals
continues to grow at an alarming rate, especially in the health care industry. Obviously,
something must be done to reverse this disturbing trend. One potential bright
spot: The use of telemedicine has been shown to reduce stress in some patients,
thus saving their lives. Can the same technology be used to reduce stress and burnout for
health care professionals? As mHealth Intelligence first reported,
the American Telemedicine Association conference and
 plans to address this question at its
upcoming annual conference this week in New Orleans.

A key factor noted by many in the industry that actually
increases stress in providers, per mHealth Intelligence, is “a
technology platform that was pitched to the industry as a means of improving
the collection and collation of medical data.” New patient documentation
technology is the culprit of increased stress not because technology is
inherently bad, but because of what it resulted in. It removed providers from
their patients and, instead, put them in front of a computer screen. This
simple shift reduced the amount of interpersonal connections health care
professionals received. This may not seem like a big deal, especially when we
are talking about the goal of increasing efficiency; however, human connection,
even in a professional, medical setting, is huge and absolutely necessary for
both patients and providers. The big question on everyone’s minds, though, is:
How is telemedicine different? Isn’t it still technology, and still going to
put professionals in front of computer screens? Yes, but there is a major
difference between the telehealth of today and the telehealth of yesterday. In
one word, that’s portability; telehealth today is so much more portable than it
was in its earliest phases. As mHealth Intelligence puts it, “Whereas
providers once had to go to the technology, such as a nurse’s station or a
computer in the office, they can now bring the technology with them as they
make their rounds.”

Even though new telehealth technology
makes it much easier for providers and patients to connect, including outside
the office, technology alone cannot fix the problem of provider stress. It is
all in how providers are trained to use these technologies. More specifically,
the issue is not technology itself, but how it is taught and subsequently implemented
(for example, the documentation technology mentioned earlier). Done correctly,
providers and patients can connect in locations suitable for each party.
Furthermore, “doctors and nurses can collaborate
with each other, and with specialists, reducing stress on one provider and
enabling different providers to handle the tasks more suited to them.” Telemedicine
has the potential to relieve stress for providers as long as they learn how to properly
utilize it.

Click here to read the mHealth Intelligence article on provider burnout and telehealth.


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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !