Back to Top Skip to main content

Helping the healers through the power of mobile technology

The Provider Resilience app offers health care providers tools to guard against emotional occupational hazards, including compassion fatigue and burnout. An updated version of the app is expected to be released in the fall. (Courtesy photo) The Provider Resilience app offers health care providers tools to guard against emotional occupational hazards, including compassion fatigue and burnout. An updated version of the app is expected to be released in the fall. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation

Experts at the Defense Health Agency’s Web & Mobile Technology Program Management Office have harnessed the power of mobile information technology to help those who help others. They’ve created the Provider Resilience app, which offers health care providers tools to guard against common but troubling emotional occupational hazards.

“The app was designed for behavioral health providers, but it benefits anyone who deals with trauma patients, including physicians, nurses, chaplains, and first responders,” said Julie Kinn, Ph.D., a research and clinical psychologist in the DHA’s Connected Health Branch, Clinical Support Division, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

As a June 2016 report in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health explains, providers who care for patients who’ve been through trauma eventually may feel as though they’ve experienced the trauma themselves. This secondary traumatic stress can lead to compassion fatigue and burnout. Providers with these conditions describe feeling physically and emotionally exhausted and unable to cope, as though they have nothing left to give, according to a blog post on the Psychological Health Center of Excellence website.

“Our providers do so much good work,” Kinn said. “But over the past 16 years, they’ve been dealing with such high levels of exposure to trauma through their patients.”

“Our providers know what they need to do to maintain compassion and prevent burnout,” Kinn said. “The problem is, they just don’t do it. It’s not a lack of knowledge; it’s a lack of reminders to take some time in their day for self-care. So the app simply gives them those daily reminders and a way to track.”

The app features a dashboard that gives users a resilience rating based on such factors as how long it’s been since their last vacation. It also includes brief self-assessments, inspirational and funny messages, and videos from actual patients expressing gratitude for the care they’ve received.

Jodi Boling is a registered nurse who works in hospice care in Crown Point, Indiana. She holds a master’s degree as a clinical nurse specialist in adult health and is working on a Ph.D. She came across information about the Provider Resilience app while doing research for her dissertation on compassion fatigue in nurses.

Boling downloaded the app on her own mobile device and has met with the chief executive officer of her hospice organization to ensure that he’s aware of its potential to help health care providers.

"When a patient dies, nurses often don't take the time to grieve the loss,” Boling said. “Instead, they administer postmortem care and then address the needs of their other patients. There's an inherent trait to keep moving and not take the time for self-care."

Boling said if she had to identify any shortcoming of the app, it’s that “it’s available in only one language. I’m thinking it would be beneficial for first responders who were involved in rescuing the Thai soccer players trapped in the cave.”

The Provider Resilience app was introduced about five years ago. Kinn said that despite being marketed only to military behavioral health providers, “it actually gets pretty good downloads.” The app has been downloaded more than 35,000 times, she said, with an average of 924 new downloads each month.

Kinn said the team at JB Lewis-McChord is working on an updated version with an easier-to-use interface, more-modern graphics, and other features that will make the app inclusive for other health care providers and first responders. It’s expected to be released in the fall and, like the current version, will be available free for anyone to download from the App Store and Google Play.

You also may be interested in...

Department of Defense Serum Repository

Infographic
8/3/2016
The Department of Defense Serum Repository is a longitudinal serum repository that serves as a central archive of sera drawn from Service members for medical surveillance purposes. As the world’s largest repository of its kind, the DoDSR has greatly contributed to a better understanding of the etiology of health conditions that would otherwise not be amenable to prospective study.  More on the DODSR  •	The DoDSR stores more than 60 million serial serum specimens from more than 10 million active duty and reserve service members throughout their careers. •	Since 1990, sera remaining after routine HIV-1 antibody testing and sera collected before and after major deployments have been forwarded to the DoDSR. •	All serial serum specimens stored in the DoDSR are linkable to data in the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) – the central repository of military and medical surveillance data of U.S. service members. •	At the repository, specimens are stored in precisely documented locations in walk-in freezers at -30 Celsius. •	The DoDSR adds a powerful sero epidemiological capability to overall military health surveillance with linkage of data relevant to individual characteristics, exposure states, medical events, and specimens. •	As a result, studies that used to require months to years, if feasible and affordable at all, can now be conducted in days to weeks by in-house epidemiologists.  Over time, the serum repository will increase in its value as new etiologic hypotheses are developed, as technologies for detecting biological markers in sera are improved, and as medical events accrue among aging cohorts of contributors. Follow us on Twitter for more info: @AFHSBPAGE

The Department of Defense Serum Repository is a longitudinal serum repository that serves as a cental archive of sera drawn from Service members for medical surveillance purposes.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | DoD Serum Repository | Innovation
<< < 1 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 1 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.