4th July 2022
April is Stress Awareness Month, which provides an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health and shine a light on workplace stress.
This year, Stress Awareness Month focuses on Community, a theme which is very close to our hearts. We have been supporting community healthcare workers for some time and have seen first-hand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on stress levels and workloads.
Even before the pandemic, community healthcare professionals were under pressure as staff shortages and a lack of adequate technological infrastructure contributed to unmanageable workloads in many teams. However, since the onset of the pandemic, community teams have faced unprecedented pressures: in addition to an increased demand for healthcare services, staffing levels have been seriously affected, and expectations and procedures around the way that care is provided in the community have also been constantly changing.
High levels of work-related stress, absenteeism and job dissatisfaction among community healthcare workers has not only affected the service provided to patients, but has also had a significant negative impact on the physical and mental health of workers in the sector.
How can Civica Scheduling help?
It’s our priority to ensure that community healthcare workers are given the support that they need to reduce stress levels, improve mental health and ultimately improve outcomes for both healthcare professionals and their patients.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to address staffing shortfalls and workplace stress urgently, to help our staff to manage increasing demands on services. However, with ongoing staff shortages, how can this be achieved?
One solution is for community healthcare teams to embrace technology to make sure that services are run in the most efficient way possible. This would enable limited resources to be targeted where they are needed most, in the most efficient way possible.
At Civica, we are already working with community teams across the country to make this a reality. Our intelligent e-scheduling software, Civica Scheduling (formerly Malinko) offers unique features, including:
- Seamless interface with existing electronic patient record (EPR) systems
- Intelligent workforce planning which uses demand and scheduling data to match patients with the clinical skills of the available workforce
- Collaboration and full transparency with other health and social care systems
- Responsiveness to both planned and unplanned care requirements.
Civica Scheduling frees up time to care, so that overworked and overstressed community healthcare workers can work more efficiently, in a more collaborative environment and with better support. Civica Scheduling helps by easing the administrative burden on staff, facilitating transparent communication with managers, other team members and multi-disciplinary colleagues, helping managers to match staffing capacity to demand and enabling staff to manage their own workloads in a simple and efficient way.
Civica Scheduling can also help to minimise scheduling errors, resulting in improved patient safety and eliminating duplicate visits. Intelligent scheduling also means that staff breaks and lunches are protected, and route-mapping means that travel time can be kept to a minimum.
Better care planning also improves continuity of care, supporting a patient-centred approach which contributes to significant improvements in reported levels of job satisfaction among nurses, as well as better outcomes for patients.
Reducing pressure on community services
Although we know that technology cannot immediately solve all the problems faced by community teams, it can contribute to a safer, more efficient and less stressful working environment.
We want to do everything we can to reduce pressure on community health and social care practitioners, improve operational efficiency and make the workplace a less stressful environment. That’s why our software has been developed with healthcare professionals, for healthcare professionals.
If you would like to find out more about managing workplace stress, the Stress Management Society has a range of useful resources, ranging from Mental Health Awareness Workshops to tips for relieving stress and a ‘30 day challenge’ for improving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.