Despite being one of the fastest-growing industries, the healthcare sector has faced a large number of challenges in the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic strained health systems across the world and underscored the importance of a robust healthcare network. One compounding factor that made COVID-19 harder to tackle is the healthcare worker shortage, which has existed for decades. The shortage of healthcare staff adds barriers to receiving care and hurts health outcomes for patients. However, there are solutions for practices dealing with the shortage.
Causes and Impacts of the Healthcare Worker Shortage
There are a variety of causes for the shortage of healthcare workers. First, the general population is aging rapidly, and a large chunk of the population is reaching retirement age. Additionally, more elderly people translate into more people who require medical care. While the supply of healthcare workers is decreasing, demand for their services is increasing.
Burnout is another driver of the lack of healthcare workers. Between 2019 and 2022, the number of nurses and doctors that report feeling burned out has increased by seven and eight percent, respectively, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In 2019, forty-one percent of nurses and thirty-two percent of doctors reported feeling burned out. However, in 2022, these numbers jumped to forty-nine percent and forty percent, respectively.
The lack of healthcare workers poses risks to patients. A lack of doctors and nurses translates into limited care access for patients. Additionally, the risk of healthcare-associated infections and patient deaths increases.
Solutions to the Healthcare Worker Shortage
Healthcare worker shortages are severe, but they can be tackled. There are many short-term and long-term solutions to this crisis that are being implemented.
Improving investments in public health is a viable long-term strategy to increase the number of healthcare staff. Additionally, improving diversity in hiring will allow individuals from underrepresented communities to find good jobs in the healthcare industry while tackling the shortage. Finally, expanding telemedicine will boost access to care for those who need it.
However, long-term solutions are not enough to solve the crisis immediately. Healthcare providers need creative solutions to staffing shortages now.
MedCore Solutions can help your practice tackle staffing shortages. They are an industry leader in streamlined medical billing and administrative services. MedCore’s billing and coding specialists offer a solution to industry-wide staffing shortages, all while helping your practice run smoothly. MedCore tailors solutions to the needs of each medical practice so providers can focus on what matters most: taking care of their patients. Learn more at https://medcoresolutions.com/.
Keck School of Medicine of USC (2022, October 25). A Public Health Crisis: Staffing Shortages in Health Care. Retrieved from: https://mphdegree.usc.edu/blog/staffing-shortages-in-health-care/.