The NHS is facing an employee engagement problem that, if left unchecked, could have significant consequences for both staff and patients. In fact, according to an NHS staff survey one in three NHS employees regularly thinks about quitting.
Despite this, a recent study by ServiceNow shows just 57% of executives in the UK and Ireland consider employee experience in healthcare to be a strategic priority. Why are more executives not planning to invest in a better employee experience and, more importantly, should they be?
To put it simply, yes. Investing in technology to help solve issues in this area can have a knock-on effect that stretches across the entire healthcare industry and everyone in it—employees, employers, and patients alike.
Healthcare employees face a wealth of challenges, from staff shortages to increasing backlogs and limited budgets. As of March 2023, around 7.33 million people were awaiting NHS treatment in the UK and Ireland, according to the British Medical Association. More than 3 million of those patients had been waiting more than 18 weeks.
These challenges add increased pressure on healthcare staff, making it difficult to recruit and retain top-tier talent into healthcare organisations and deliver a good standard of patient care.
Disjointed, siloed ways of working and clunky legacy technology make combating the impact of these challenges a frustrating, time-consuming process for employees. Admin-intensive systems often mean front-line staff must spend hours completing manual tasks rather than providing patient care.
Although these challenges have a direct effect on patients, the burden falls mainly on healthcare employees—many of whom are struggling each day to do more with less.
Prioritising the employee experience can pave the way for better patient care. Modern technology can enable organisations to work smarter by digitising admin-intensive tasks, connecting disjointed systems, and automating repetitive processes.
This can improve everything from back-end operations to patient care. For example, automated solutions can reduce the amount of time physicians spend on manual data entry so that they can focus on patient treatment.
An optimised administrative system can allow porters to spend more time on front-line tasks than on chasing clerical issues. Simplifying the staff allocation process can make it easier for nurses on a ward to resolve staffing issues and reduce burnout.
Healthcare professionals should consider both the positive impact that can come from making employee experience a strategic priority and the repercussions of ignoring it: wasted resources, an unhappy workforce, and inefficient and ineffective processes.
Ultimately, employee experience comes back to patient experience. The right technology investments can allow healthcare organisations to deliver on that experience while supporting their staff. Get the back-office systems right, focus on your people, and the rest will fall into place.
Find out how ServiceNow helps organisations prioritise employee experience.
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