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Lack of Interoperability Exacerbates Staffing Shortages, Clinician Burnout

Provider organizations noted poor interoperability as the most common problem they need help addressing, as it worsens clinician burnout and staffing shortages.

Top healthcare pain points among provider organizations include poor interoperability and long-term solutions to staffing shortages and clinician burnout, according to a KLAS whitepaper.

In September 2022, KLAS hosted its sixth annual Digital Health Investment Symposium (DHIS), bringing together provider organization executives, health IT vendors, investors, and innovators to discuss health IT developments.

To gather insights before the symposium, KLAS asked attendees to complete a pre-summit survey identifying top pain points in healthcare and how confident they feel addressing those challenges.

In the pre-summit survey, respondents from provider organizations noted technology and data siloes as the most common problem they need more help addressing; none feel confident tackling this issue.

Provider organizations mentioned a lack of interoperability and said that poor integration and scalability of solutions exacerbate clinician burnout and add to problems retaining talent.

Respondents’ confidence in tackling workforce management pain points varied.

Provider organizations reported feeling confident about addressing staffing and capacity management challenges in the short term. However, they noted the need for additional help developing long-term strategies for acquiring, training, and retaining talent.

Some provider organization respondents reported feeling confident about addressing clinical documentation inefficiencies that affect the provider experience. However, others noted unaddressed pain points, including administrative burden, clinical workflows, and EHR usability.

Additionally, nearly 30 percent of respondents from provider organizations reported that the patient experience is a challenge they feel confident tackling. Specifically, they said they feel confident in patient outreach, engagement, messaging, and creating a seamless patient experience.

Regardless of their line of business, nearly all attendees reported feeling the effect of staffing shortages. From each attendee group, at least 50 percent of participants reported moderate to significant negative impacts.

Health IT vendor attendees who reported a positive effect are businesses designed to help provider organizations solve staffing challenges.

To mitigate staffing challenges, most attendees emphasized solutions that may be unsustainable long term, such as increased compensation, improved benefits, and strengthened recruiting efforts.

Respondents mentioned more sustainable efforts—such as investing in tools and automation, creating upward mobility, and being strategic in improving the hiring pipeline—far less.

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