WakeMed adopts digital tools in the war against burnout

Raleigh, N.C.-based WakeMed's adoption of digital tools to streamline surgery schedules has been successful in fighting burnout and retaining staff, WakeMed CMO Chuck Harr, MD, told Becker's at a media roundtable.

WakeMed invasive cardiology teams had been relying on email, fax and phone to schedule lab time. This method was causing clinicians to spend much of their time on scheduling,often leading physicians to work overtime. 

When WakeMed was conducting exit interviews, Dr. Harr said, "We heard from them [clinicians] loud and clear: I want dependability of when I can come and go." 

The health system partnered with LeanTaaS to streamline its scheduling workflows. Since installing the company's iQueue for Operating Rooms platform, the health system has increased its case minutes in its cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology labs by 21%, according to LeanTaaS.

Beyond the operating room, WakeMed is looking at other digital tools, such as virtual assistants, to ease the burden on its staff. 

"I am a nurse, but the reality is that we need those virtual people, wherever they may be, whether they're a concierge from a registration perspective, whether they're a medical assistant on the practice side, nursing or just answering a patient's call bell," Carolyn Knaup, RN, senior vice president of strategic ventures and ambulatory operations, told Becker's. "We're really trying to see how deep we can take that to ensure that we're hopefully trying to plug some of those holes."

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