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The pandemic is still affecting New Zealand clinicians’ well-being in 2023

Clinical Documentation New Zealand

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Healthcare professionals throughout New Zealand are still experiencing the pressure from the past two years—and it’s having a detrimental effect on their well-being.
In this article, we dig into the lasting impact of the pandemic, how it’s affecting New Zealand doctors, and how Dragon Medical One, a high-calibre conversational
speech recognition tool and documentation companion for medical professionals, helps lighten some of the pressure.

Despite the pandemic loosening its grip on healthcare systems over the past year, there’s still a lasting impact on the work and wellbeing of clinicians throughout New Zealand.
Recently, we’ve been exploring the impact of the market challenges on healthcare organisations and on clinicians, what healthcare leaders can do to protect the well-being of their teams, and where AI-powered speech recognition can help. Here are some of the key points we’ve identified.

The backlog of medical and surgical procedures is causing strain on doctors and medical professionals

One of the most significant lasting effects from the pandemic is the major backlog of medical procedures and consultations.

During the pandemic, non-urgent healthcare procedures were scaled back to prioritise urgent care related to COVID-19. Now, care teams are trying to catch up with this backlog of cancelled and postponed procedures alongside their ever-growing list of new appointments and surgeries.

In Australia, McKell Institute reports that overdue elective surgeries are set to triple after the pandemic backlog—creating a major patient influx.

This backlog of appointments has also created a greater pressure to deliver high-quality care to patients at a much faster rate. That means less time spent in consultations, more patient throughput every day and inevitably, greater documentation workloads outside of those consultations.

As this pressure scales, it will continue to have a more damaging effect on clinicians’ well-being and their ability to serve patients effectively.

The workforce shortage crisis is damaging clinician well-being

The pressure to deliver high-quality healthcare faster has been increased even further by the workforce shortage currently being experienced by healthcare organisations throughout New Zealand. Recent reports estimate that in nursing alone, Aotearoa New Zealand will have a shortage of more than 4000 professionals.

For the clinicians still in the profession today, this means that they don’t just have to serve patients with less time, they also have fewer team members to share the workload. Too often, pressures like this directly affect clinicians’ work-life balance, forcing many to flex their working hours to meet workload demands, work overtime and sacrifice their breaks.

Find out how Dragon Medical One speech recognition software will help you work smarter!
Dictate and edit patient records and documents without touching the keyboard!

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New Zealand doctors have world’s highest stress levels

Ultimately, this quickly translates to negative effects on clinicians’ well-being. An international survey compared New Zealand with ten similar countries and New Zealand GPs came last in a survey that asks doctors about their stress levels and burnout.

A recent poll of more than 10,000 Australian healthcare professionals revealed 61% experienced anxiety during the pandemic, while 58% and 28% experienced burnout and depression.

These challenges are forcing healthcare organisations to consider where they can support clinicians to lighten their workloads and help mitigate the residual effects from the pandemic. And for many, documentation is a prime target.

We help reduce clinical documentation workloads through professional speech-to-text tools

Talking to clinicians over the past year, it became clear that documentation is one of the key contributors to exhaustion and burnout among healthcare professionals – making it an ideal area to target. Documentation scales as patient volumes rise, and only becomes a bigger burden as workforces continue to shrink.

Fortunately, this is one area where technology can help. Dragon Medical One, an AI-powered speech recognition solution, can assist clinicians to tackle their documentation faster throughout their day, and remove the burden of completing tasks in their personal time. Because we speak much faster than we type, Dragon Medical One helps reduce the time spent to create accurate documents, from admission and ward round notes to discharge and outpatient letters.

The advantage of using Dragon Medical One is improved quality of notes and faster availability which impacts discharge summaries and the handover to the GP and faster, readily available patient management plans.

“Dragon Medical One gave them [clinicians] the ability to structure their day, be in command again. I can go home and feel I’ve done everything possible for the patient today and I can go and spend some time with my family and switch off.”
Pieter Nel, Chief Digital Director Medical Services, Mackay Hospital, Australia

Dragon Medical One users have commended the solution on its ability to enhance clinicians’ well-being and the safety, quality, and efficiency of patient care. This is particularly due to the time savings, the real-time availability of data and the level of detail as well as the structure of the documentation it enables. This, in turn, supports a better-connected patient journey and improved health outcomes.

“If we’re happier with our work performance we’re going to reduce burnout – if we are able to actually free up time to have lunch, to have coffee, to go home on time – again it’s going to reduce burnout”.
Dr Andrew Brier, FACEM, MBBS, Staff Specialist, Emergency Physician

See how you can support your clinicians

Finding ways to support clinicians’ wellbeing in a stressful working environment can feel like a monumental challenge. But healthcare organisations across New Zealand – and the rest of the world – are making progress.

It’s amazing how a professional speech recognition tool like Dragon Medical One is supporting clinician wellbeing simply by improving documentation workflows.​ Dragon Medical One allows healthcare organisations to easily deploy medical speech recognition across the enterprise – all while saving time and boosting productivity and efficiency for clinicians.

Dictate and edit patient records and documents without touching the keyboard!
Find out how Dragon Medical One speech recognition software will help you work smarter!

Request a free trial and demo of Dragon Medical One now!

Name(Required)

View our privacy policy.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Find out how speech-to-text technology and digital dictation will help you work smarter.

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