Is Overtime a Symptom of a Bigger Problem?
NYU Rory Meyers School of Nursing recently published research highlighting what those of us in the hospitals have known for years – pushing heavy nurse overtime causes their performance and collaboration to deteriorate.
The nurse is now at the center of hospital operations and patient care. With the flood of electronic data and compliance software, the work has increased and the demand for nurse overtime is heightened on any given day.
Collaboration is noted as one of the first work functions to suffer due to fatigued nurses, and there are practical steps providers can take to improve collaboration. Many nurses want to pick up overtime shifts, and it’s sometimes necessary to get the job done. The important part is to ensure it’s done safely and not in excess, which is why some hospitals implement policies against more than 4 12-hour shifts in a week.
Healthcare providers can make changes in policies and pay close attention to nurse’s schedules, but is nurse overtime just a symptom of a bigger problem?
The bigger problem is the U.S. nurse shortage. Monitoring unhealthy overtime hours can only go so far when the supply of nurses is low. That’s why Shearwater Health has not only recruited international nurses for over 100 hospitals, but also adapted to support retention needs with our CPO® solutions.
By utilizing our remote nurses to support the more administrative tasks in a healthcare environment, we have freed up not only our nurses at the bedside, but also thousands of others to dedicate their time to the patients and the physicians. This ensures quality of care in both administrative and patient engagement functions.
Leveraging high quality, experienced nurses remotely to augment a team on-site allows for a care team approach that creates efficiency and retains the nurses for their professional skills instead of administrative, data-entry requirements.
One system of Outpatient clinics recently rolled out Shearwater’s coding solution for their providers – utilizing remote nurses to perform the coding. In speaking with several of the Nurse Practitioners, they shared that it was like “a quiet applause across the country when they could all begin to focus on their patients and what they love the most.”
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