The Surgeon General's advisory recommends several possible healthcare technology solutions to various stakeholders for healthcare organizations, federal, state, local and tribal governments, and payers. Recommendations include "protect the health, safety, and well-being of all health workers" and "reduce administrative and other workplace burdens to help health workers make time for what matters."
A chapter of the report touches on what healthcare technology companies can do, noting, "Rapid advancements in technology, and health information technology, have enhanced our capability to deliver, process and access healthcare, yet more work remains to ensure these advances do not contribute to health worker burnout."
Recommendations for medtech include:
- "Design technology to serve the needs of health workers, care teams, and patients across the continuum of care." In particular, including health workers early on in the development and implementation of these healthcare technology solutions is important to "ensure inclusive, accessible design."
- "Design platforms with the goal of interoperability at the outset." The focus of technology integration must assure against increasing burdens on workers and ensure "patient-generated data is accessible in a meaningful way."
- "Strengthen integration of data across different platforms and health sectors." The advisory emphasizes the value of automated health data integration across systems that allow data from all members of the clinical care team, including the patient and caregivers to be integrated, analyzed, and transformed into actionable insights.
- "Improve seamless storage of and access to health data." A standard format for data storage and exchange would enable data to be accessed across systems and devices.
The report also notes nurses spend up to 41% of their time on electronic health records (EHRs) and documentation, and physicians spend two hours per day on EHRs and other administrative tasks.
A great deal of work must be done to ensure the safety and health of our healthcare workers.
As Dr. Murthy notes, "The stakes are high. If we fail to act, we will place our nation's health at increasing risk."