Wednesday, February 02 | Thought Leadership, Post-Acute Care, Value-based Care, Human Services

Tapping Technology to Empower Your Workforce 

By Mary Gannon, Chief Nursing Officer

No doubt about it. Of all the challenges facing healthcare organizations today, staffing stress and workforce shortages have moved front and center. Far from isolated anomalies, these issues are pervasive, impacting virtually all sectors of society – not just healthcare.

From retail and entertainment to hospitality and transportation, industries spanning the economic spectrum are dealing with drastic worker attrition rates. However, if you’re among those struggling to maintain quality services with fewer staff and resources, take heart. You are not alone, and the good news is help is within reach.

With the right perspective and support, it is possible for healthcare leadership to equip their staff and organization to remain efficient and resilient even in this complex and ever-changing environment.

Of course, embracing the opportunity created by these challenges first means acknowledging the problem. It is real and, at some point, it will touch us all. No one knows this better than those in healthcare, who we’ve watched on the national stage struggling to care for soaring patient numbers amid ongoing staffing shortfalls.

Demand exceeds supply

By 2026, the U.S. is expected to have a critical shortage of 3.2 million healthcare workers1, and a new ShiftMed report warns that almost 50% of nurses could leave the field within the next two years. This trend is consistent across the human services and post-acute communities we serve.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has noted an 87% shortage in the behavioral health workforce, and according to 2021 Kaiser Family Foundation data, clinicians are only able to meet about 27% of the mental health needs in the U.S.

Similarly, between March 2020 and November 2021, nursing homes lost 234,000 jobs2, yet the number of patients needing post-acute care is expected to more than triple, reaching 27 million by 20603.

Adversity brings opportunity

Although this data is sobering, our current situation suggests a prime opportunity for creative and adaptive strategy making.

Certainly, some of the strongest productivity gains throughout history have taken place when companies were motivated to explore new operational avenues not only to survive but thrive during a crisis. And the good news is, there are tools already available to give you a helping hand in this process.                                                      

Instill a technology-first mindset

First of all, if demand for healthcare services exceeds the ability to supply them, and there’s no viable means of altering supply, it only makes sense to reconfigure what you have into an efficient, fully integrated system.

How? Technology. By leveraging a multi-dimensional technology platform and accessing the expert services to support it, you can continue your mission of delivering quality service to those in your care despite limited resources. And the bonus benefit? With technology that automates cumbersome tasks and fosters communication and connectivity across all points of care, clinician productivity improves – and that supports satisfaction and engagement, which in turn has a positive impact on retention, patient outcomes and, ultimately, return on investment for your organization.

True, adopting a sustainable, digitally optimized business model is not a simple concept, but recent success stories have demonstrated that alignment with an IT solutions provider who is committed to your success will facilitate a seamless transition.

Hand-in-hand

A good tech partner will work in tandem with you to implement customized solutions that alleviate your administrative burden and promote clinician satisfaction in a way that enables them to practice at the top of their license rather than burn out and leave.

Without question, for healthcare, it’s a new day, but there’s a new way to move forward with optimism: embrace a digital-first strategy for your organization.

With technology, organizations within our industry have a clear path to better clinician and patient outcomes even while facing today’s new workforce dynamics and the rising demand for healthcare services.

 

 

Sources:

1 data-brief-health-care-workforce-challenges-threaten-hospitals-ability-to-care-for-patients.pdf (aha.org)

2 AHCA NCAL Report_BLS Data on Staffing Shortages 12.10.21.pdf

3 Hot Trends to Watch for in Post Acute Care (evicore.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author

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Mary Gannon · Chief Nursing Officer

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