How children’s hospitals have adapted to a work-from-home world
Healthcare providers are finding new ways to keep patients healthy and energize their employees.
At the start of the pandemic, the sudden shift to remote work exposed vulnerabilities in healthcare infrastructure largely built around in-person care. Now, children’s hospitals are learning how to make work-from-home a sustainable part of care going forward.
Many children’s hospitals had to revamp procurement processes to accommodate staff using technology at home for the first time.
of children’s hospital leaders say technology procurement and deployment were challenges as their staff scrambled to work remotely from home.
Source: Informal poll at J.P. Morgan's Children’s Hospitals Roundtable, July 2021
However, many said the biggest challenge came on the personnel front, as hospital systems faced employee fatigue and burnout.
What children’s hospitals did in response:
- Team-building activities to make workers feel connected again
- Structured workdays to make remote work shifts more productive
- Technology allowances to help pay for an at-home workspace
- Occasional in-person meetings, when safe, to engage at a personal, webcam-free level
Solve staff shortages: Providers will need to take creative and competitive steps to engage and retain staff. Some children’s hospitals are hiring nurses to work exclusively on telehealth, allowing patients and providers to access care more easily.
Increase awareness of children’s mental health: The pandemic put a spotlight on the damaging effect trauma can have on children’s physical health and development. In response, some children’s hospitals have increased telehealth programs, providing more opportunities to intervene and leading to unique benefits. Beyond convenience, a home environment for virtual treatment provides young patients a more comfortable and private setting compared to an office.
Embrace technology: New tools can help increase productivity even as health workers are scarce.
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