Derek Grant on High Turnover in Healthcare: The Role of Outdated IT Systems

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How Outdated Technology is Driving Healthcare Professionals Away.

The healthcare sector has long been plagued by high turnover rates, a trend that has only worsened since the pandemic. The common culprits are well-documented: burnout, long hours, and often low pay. This challenging trifecta is certainly not conducive to retaining a dedicated workforce.

However, a new factor is increasingly contributing to this persistent issue: the technology available to workers. While technology is supposed to streamline processes and enhance efficiency, in many healthcare settings, it does quite the opposite.

The Frustration with Standard Healthcare Technologies

Take, for example, the widespread use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems like Epic, Cerner, and Meditech. These systems, intended to simplify and streamline patient record management, often leave healthcare workers riddled with frustration. When these technologies fail to function seamlessly, workers are forced to resort to manual workarounds, which are time-consuming and prone to error.

This stark contrast between the seamless technology experiences in workers’ personal lives and the cumbersome systems they encounter at work creates a significant source of dissatisfaction. Healthcare professionals want and need technology that works reliably and efficiently, but too often, hospital tech breaks down, leaving them feeling unproductive and restless in their roles.

The Need for IT Modernization in Healthcare

To address this growing concern, healthcare organizations must prioritize IT modernization. Modern, reliable technology is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity to keep workers engaged and productive. When technology works as it should, it empowers healthcare professionals to focus on what they do best—caring for patients—rather than battling with outdated systems.

The Impact of EHRs and IT Systems on Healthcare Professionals

Statistics reveal that doctors spend nearly half of their workday interacting with Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other IT systems. This extensive interaction with technology is crucial for patient care but also places a significant burden on healthcare professionals, especially when these systems are inefficient or unreliable.

The Time Drain of Inefficient Systems

The sheer amount of time doctors dedicate to EHRs and IT systems is staggering. Ideally, these tools should streamline administrative tasks, allowing healthcare providers to focus more on patient care. However, when these systems are clunky, slow, or prone to errors, they become a time drain. Instead of enhancing productivity, they add to the workload, forcing doctors to spend extra time correcting mistakes, inputting data multiple times, or waiting for systems to respond.

Impact on Workflow and Efficiency

Efficient workflow is critical in healthcare settings where every second counts. Outdated or poorly designed technology disrupts this workflow, causing delays and interruptions. For example, if a doctor has to log in multiple times due to system timeouts or navigate through numerous screens to find patient information, it wastes valuable time and creates frustration. This disruption can also lead to errors, potentially compromising patient safety.

Contribution to Stress and Burnout

The constant struggle with ineffective technology adds to the already high levels of stress healthcare professionals face. Burnout is a significant issue in healthcare, characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. When doctors and nurses are forced to wrestle with technology that should be aiding them, it exacerbates these feelings. They may feel that their skills and time are being wasted, leading to a sense of helplessness and frustration.

Driving High Turnover Rates

High turnover rates in healthcare are often attributed to burnout, long hours, and insufficient pay. However, the role of technology in this equation cannot be overlooked. When doctors and other healthcare professionals find their workdays dominated by inefficient IT systems, it diminishes their job satisfaction and increases the likelihood of them leaving the profession. The time and energy spent dealing with outdated technology can make the job feel more burdensome than rewarding, pushing them to seek opportunities elsewhere where they feel their time and skills will be better utilized.

The Need for IT Modernization

Addressing this issue requires a concerted effort to modernize IT systems within healthcare. Investing in more reliable, user-friendly technology can significantly improve doctors’ daily workflows, reduce errors, and enhance overall job satisfaction. By minimizing the time spent on administrative tasks and maximizing patient care time, healthcare organizations can not only improve productivity but also retain their valuable staff.

In summary, the extensive interaction doctors have with EHRs and IT systems is a double-edged sword. While these tools are essential for modern healthcare, their inefficiency can severely impact workflow, contribute to stress and burnout, and drive high turnover rates. Modernizing these systems is not just about improving technology—it’s about improving the working conditions for healthcare professionals and, ultimately, patient care.


High turnover in healthcare is a multifaceted problem, exacerbated by outdated technology. By modernizing IT systems, healthcare organizations can create a more efficient, satisfying work environment for their staff, which is essential for retaining talented professionals. It’s time to recognize that technology is a crucial component in the battle against high turnover and take action to ensure it serves healthcare workers effectively.


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Derek Grant

Vice President, Technical Strategy

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