How Technology is Transforming the Industry for Healthcare Facilities and Nurses
As technology continues to advance, so does its role in healthcare and – ultimately – how much healthcare professionals need to learn and use to stay contemporary and be as efficient as possible. The majority of technology advances in the past few decades have centered on administrative programs and improving clinical processes, which affect nurses, other healthcare providers and facilities alike.
RPA Platforms Use Automation to Streamline Operations
What is RPA Technology?
RPA technology is relatively new to the healthcare industry, but is revolutionizing staffing. A robotic process automation (RPA) platform is robust software that can mirror workflows and processes and perform repetitive tasks automatically – making something like filling a missed shift at the last minute significantly faster and easier.
A nurse staffing agency can use this software to automate all sorts of processes. Once it was put into place at All American, we were able to decrease our healthcare professionals onboarding time from days to minutes. When it comes time to filling a shift, that too happens automatically with the shift or shifts sent to the right people in the right areas, prioritizing those who have previously worked at the facility and excluding anyone with expired or outdated credential information. Because we’ve “taught” the RPA platform these processes, we’re able to automate them so that they are done much quicker.
How Will an RPA Platform Benefit Facilities That Use a Staffing Agency?
A nursing home, for example, that has a staff of 50 people will not want to spend tens of thousands of dollars in recruiting fees to fill one or two openings. Instead of having to coordinate everything in-house, a staffing agency that has an RPA platform implemented is going to be able to offer more agility when filling shifts, especially at the last minute.
The thing is, not all healthcare staffing agencies are leveraging this kind of technology. Smaller agencies that tend to serve a very local base of suppliers often don’t have the economies and/or resources to deploy an RPA platform. What they are frequently doing instead is manually pulling lists of available nurses and then sending out open shifts by emailing or calling, which can take longer to do since it’s not automatic. Larger, corporate agencies, on the other hand, may have franchised agencies that have the benefit of a localized feel and serve a smaller area, but still fall under the corporate umbrella. Even with corporate-mandated software, it’s generally the decision of the franchisee as to how to use the technology. This can lead to a lack of process standardization across franchises – even one franchise says they have RPA technology, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are using it to its full potential.
Facilities can contact All American today to fill shifts faster or learn more about our onboarding process and nationwide network of healthcare professions.
How Will an RPA Platform Benefit Nurses That Use a Staffing Agency?
For temp staffing agencies that do utilize an RPA platform, the benefits of this technology aren’t limited to just the agency’s facility clientele, but also to the nurses and healthcare employees in their network. That’s because the automation is able to efficiently staff shifts quickly and cost-effectively, which in turn enables the agency to pass savings on to the employees in the form of better pay. All American Healthcare Services leverages RPA technologies specifically because it not only benefits the facilities, but also so that we are able to pay nurses the highest rates in the industry.
Nurses can register with All American online or by calling. We send shifts to nurses immediately after registration is complete.
Other Changing Technology Impacting Nurses and Healthcare Providers
The evolved handwritten chart has all but been replaced with electronic records as well as online charting systems, scheduling, patient portals and more. This new digital age of charting has made life significantly easier for both providers – who no longer risk losing instructions or files due to bad handwriting, spills or misplacing physical copies – as well as patients who are able to better understand their healthcare options and care plans.
Technology is only continuing to move forward, so it’s in the best interest of nurses, especially those who work part time or temporary assignments, to be open to new technology changes. Doing so will increase their value to employers and allow them to take on more opportunities and get the highest paying work possible, since they are not limiting themselves to positions that only utilize processes that they’re used to.
Of course, for some that’s easier said than done. While many nurses do have a positive attitude towards improved tools and processes, as well as an appreciation for the decreased workload that comes with a well-designed system, for some nurses there is still hesitation and even doubt or frustration. Even when training, reference guides and other resources are provided, some still have a hard time adjusting or may be concerned that they will click or enter information in the wrong place. They can become frustrated if they cannot figure out how to use new systems, which can in turn can aggravate patients who have to wait longer while their electronic medical records are documented.
Still, proper training is essential to familiarize staff with new technologies and user feedback should be absolutely considered. With software it’s entirely possible – and even necessary in today’s environment – to continuously improve products via upgrades, meaning if nurses are collectively struggling with a system then it’s likely something that the developers need to revisit and not necessarily something users need to live with. Keeping an open dialogue between nurses, administrators and facility IT professionals can help ensure that systems are providing the necessary functionalities while still remaining user-friendly.
As technology continues to change, nurses and healthcare facilities will also have to continue to remain flexible and adaptive to new platforms and systems available. Technology can help nurses prove their value with employers and earn higher pay, and can help facilities stay competitive. For healthcare staffing agencies, technologies like RPA platforms can provide benefits to both facilities and nurses by improving process efficiency and increasing cost savings.