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Clinical Trends

Preparing for the Next Generation of Pediatricians: 4 Reasons to Implement Technology

There is a new generation coming into the medical workforce. Those born in 1991 or later who have chosen to pursue careers in medicine are likely graduating from fellowship programs and looking to join practices, maybe even your pediatric practice.

This is a generation who has grown up with the internet and has implemented digital devices into their daily lives — young people who are accustomed to doing almost everything with the help of technology. They are comfortable on their phones, tablets, and laptops. They have probably never had to chart on old-school paper charts, even during their training.

You may be asking yourself why your practice needs to keep up with younger generations. Shouldn’t young providers adapt to their surroundings? If social media posts have shown us anything, it’s that Generation Y values work-life balance, and technology assists with facilitating such balance.

It makes sense, then, that the job that offers this generation the ability to “work to live” is going to be the one that they pursue. If you’re not already, it’s time to evaluate if your practice provides the right technology tools that support this work-life balance. In this blog, we’ll explore four reasons to implement technology in order to prepare for the next generation of pediatricians. We’ll also discuss what types of technology will appeal to younger providers and how you can implement them into your modern-day pediatric practice.

Telehealth Facilitates Work-Life Balance

Adapting your practice to attract the next generation of practitioners has never been more appropriate. However, if you’re not already utilizing technology, this can be a challenge. Finding new clinicians, pediatricians, and nurses is becoming increasingly difficult as the older generations leave the medical field in greater numbers than those entering it.

There is so much online chatter about the difference in work ethic between the retiring generations and the graduating ones. When you look at the core of the differences, though, it seems that the younger generations find their purpose outside of their careers, rather than in them. Maintaining work-life balance in healthcare can be quite the challenge, but telemedicine presents an opportunity to overcome this hurdle. This is especially true over the last few years as healthcare workers have found themselves navigating staffing shortages and increased caseloads. With an effective telehealth platform, your practice will have more availability and flexibility.

Telemedicine Honors the Next Generation’s Values

The work-life line becomes especially blurry for pediatricians who work in an office all day, round in the hospital after work, and can be on-call throughout the nights and weekends. Offering new pediatric providers opportunities to be “off” when they are off is crucial to them finding satisfaction within their careers.

Telemedicine allows both patients and providers to engage in appointments from locations and time frames that suit their needs. If they need to be home with their kids after school, for example, patients and doctors can use an in-home office workspace or their living room to connect to the appointment. Offering virtual appointments and having an effective after-hours nurse triage (more on that later!) complement the value of work-life balance for the up-and coming-members in the medical workforce.

Virtual Appointments Offer Flexibility and Convenience

The prevalence of telemedicine increased significantly during the pandemic. Over time it has proven to streamline patient care because it’s more convenient for patients, parents, and providers. If you are not utilizing virtual visits in your practice, it’s time to consider doing so. If you’ve implemented telehealth, you may consider expanding your virtual services. Telemedicine supplements your current availability and offers flexibility to your patients’ families.

Your patients can continue to receive uninterrupted care during back-to-school and seasonal viral surges — such as influenza, RSV and COVID-19 — when there are high call volumes and an increased need for patient evaluations, making time outside of the office harder to obtain. Telemedicine can help you accommodate more patients into your day while utilizing less time and resources than a traditional office visit. Your patients can still receive the care they need, and your providers can maintain the office hour boundaries they’ve set forth.

After-Hours Nurse Triage Helps Providers Set and Keep Boundaries

Having an effective after-hours nurse triage platform that can appropriately triage your patients is crucial in physicians and advanced practice providers being able to be off the clock and sleep through the night. In 80 percent of instances, when parents call a medical exchange, they are looking for reassurance. If they do not find it on the telephone, they will look for it in an emergency room. This increases healthcare costs, exposes kids and their families to unnecessary illnesses that are festering within hospital rooms, and requires follow-up appointments with your office.

Anytime After Hours is an effective nurse triage service that provides you with the opportunity for respite when you are out of the office, thereby reducing workload when you are in the office. As such, work-life balance is easier to maintain. Anytime After Hours is staffed by experienced emergency room nurses who follow Barton-Schmitt Protocols. They’re able to offer appropriate reassurance and consistent medical advice your patients and their parents. If needed, nurses can route families to the physician on-call or schedule them for a next-day virtual visit.

Anytime Pediatrics Can Help Your Practice Prepare for the Next Generation

New providers are a generation who grew up utilizing tablets over textbooks and cell phones over landlines. Offering platforms like telehealth and after-hours nurse triage enables practices to provide excellent care when the doors are open and the tools to support care when your pediatric practice is closed.

For more information on how Anytime Pediatrics can ready your office for the incoming generation, contact us today to request a consultation!