Strengthening care with hybrid work

The way we work, live and learn has fundamentally changed. After almost two years in which employees have largely worked from home, hybrid working has become indispensable.

Specifically in healthcare, we see technological innovation excelling at a rapid pace. Hybrid worka concept previously reserved for technology companies and forward-thinking employers has been adopted with great success in healthcare.

In March, Cisco participated in the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference, where we demonstrated the power of hybrid work through our interactive patient and caregiver experience. We recommend that you use the virtual tour to see how technology can positively influence the care pathway.

Why hybrid work?

Healthcare workers are in crisis. Almost 20% of health workers have quit their jobs since the start of the pandemicand 49% of those individuals cited burnout or stress as their top reason for leaving healthcare.

The pandemic has increased our society’s awareness of mental and behavioral health problems caused by stress, isolation and loss of social contact and community. While the general population has experienced the impact of these conditions in a profound way, the clinician population has been subjected to the most extreme of these conditions.

If not addressed immediately, moral injury (burnout in clinicians) will have an impact on the future of healthcare with major implications for clinical satisfaction at work and quality of care.

To really solve the problems our society faces around moral harm to our critical health workers – our health systems need to change and more attention needs to be paid to the experience and well-being of workers.

Now is the time to rethink the workplace for our clinicians and care teams, equipping them with the technology tools they need to spend less time on administrative burdens and more time interacting with patients or disconnecting from work for mental and physical breaks.

How can care be delivered in a hybrid setting?

For healthcare organizations, offering hybrid work can help retain staff and reduce clinician burnout by allowing clinicians and staff to be productive in their preferred environment: in a healthcare facility, at home, or between locations.

One of the most common ways we’ve seen healthcare delivered in a hybrid environment is through: telehealth. Patients and caregivers can be in the most convenient place at the time of the consultation. For patients, telecare means on-demand care and faster access to the healthcare providers and specialists they need. For caregivers, telehealth can mean better planning density and less time travel between hospitals, clinics and their homes. And because Webex Instant Connect integrates into existing electronic health records, simplifies the deployment of telecare.

Another area where we have seen the significant impact of hybrid work is the digital front door. The Digital Front Door is an omnichannel patient engagement tool that reduces staff scheduling burden and improves patient choice and shared decision-making.

How does hybrid work improve the clinician’s experience?

As I’ve already shared, hybrid work helps minimize the burden that often rests on providers. But hybrid work can also lead to efficiency improvements in healthcare.

Clinical Communication and Collaboration enables caregivers to communicate at different locations in a healthcare facility or between the facility and home. If a nurse needs to reach the on-call provider, they can do so via secure messaging and calling. This means that the provider can consult remotely and in a fast and effective manner.

through our hybrid workforce use case, we can also help healthcare organizations to collaborate and work effectively, regardless of their location, by providing remote and secure connectivity in the operational domain.

A final area where hybrid work is being applied in healthcare is remote expertise. Using Webex Remote Expert on Demand coupled with augmented reality devices, experts can share knowledge and expertise with students in an educational capacity, or train providers in remote locations where a specialist may not be available. This technology can also be used to connect remote experts to the frontline so they can see what the frontline worker sees while doing their job.

Getting started with hybrid working

At HIMSS 2022 we have certainly seen that hybrid working is the future for healthcare. While the industry initially used hybrid work as a means of delivering care during the pandemic, healthcare organizations are realizing the value of hybrid work in improving the patient and clinician experience, as well as the financial and environmental benefits of hybrid work.

It’s all interconnected, the patient experience, the clinician experience, and the economics of care delivery. Cisco adds value to digital healthcare and hybrid work, one workflow at a time.

Do you want to dive deeper into hybrid work for healthcare? We encourage you to watch this short film webinar on how hybrid working is supporting healthcare heroes around the worldand request a demo from a hybrid work expert.

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