The way we work, live, and learn has fundamentally shifted. After nearly two years in which employees have operated mostly from home, hybrid work is here to stay.
In healthcare specifically, we’re seeing technology innovation excel at a rapid pace. Hybrid work, a notion previously reserved for tech companies and forward-thinking employers, has been adopted in healthcare with great success.
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 provider experience. We encourage you to take the virtual tour to see the ways in which technology can positively impact the care journey.
Why hybrid work?
The healthcare workforce is in crisis. Nearly 20% of healthcare workers have left their job since the pandemic started, and 49% of those individuals cited burnout or stress as their top reason for leaving the healthcare field.
The pandemic has heightened our society’s awareness of mental and behavioral health issues 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 (clinician burnout) will have an impact on the future of healthcare with major implications around clinical satisfaction at work and quality of care delivery.
To truly resolve the issues our society is facing around moral injury for our critical healthcare workers – our health systems need to change, and increased focus needs to be placed on employee experience and wellbeing.
The time is now to rethink the workplace for our clinicians and care teams, equipping them with the technology tools they need to spend less time on administrative burden 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 workforce and reduce clinician burnout by enabling clinicians and staff to be productive in their preferred environment—inside a care facility, at home, or moving between locations.
One of the most common ways we’ve seen healthcare being delivered in a hybrid environment is through telehealth. Patients and providers can be in the place that’s most convenient at the time of the consultation. For patients, telehealth means care on-demand, and quicker access to the providers and specialists they need. For providers, telehealth can mean better schedule density, and less time traveling between hospitals, clinics and their home. And, because Webex Instant Connect integrates into existing electronic health records, adoption of telehealth is simplified.
Another area where we’ve seen the significant impact of hybrid work is in the digital front door. The digital front door is an omnichannel patient engagement tool, which lowers the burden on staff for scheduling and improves choice and shared decision making for the patients.
How does hybrid work improve the clinician experience?
As I’ve already shared, hybrid work helps minimize the burden that often falls to providers. But hybrid work can also drive efficiencies in the delivery of care.
Clinical communications and collaboration allows care providers to communicate across various locations throughout a care facility or between the facility and home. If a nurse needs to reach the provider on call, 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 collaborate and work effectively, regardless of their location, by providing remote and secure connectivity into the operational domain.
One final area where hybrid work is being adopted within healthcare is through remote expertise. Using Webex Remote Expert on Demand paired with augmented reality devices, experts can share knowledge and expertise with students in an education 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, enabling them to see what the frontline worker is seeing while performing their job.
Get started with hybrid work
At HIMSS 2022, we certainly saw that hybrid work is the future for healthcare. While the industry initially adopted hybrid work as a means to deliver 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 connected, the patient experience, the clinician experience, and the economics of care delivery. Cisco is bringing value to digital care delivery and hybrid work, one workflow at a time.
Want to dive deeper into hybrid work for healthcare? We encourage you to watch this short webinar about how hybrid work is supporting healthcare heroes around the world, and request a demo from a hybrid work expert.