Wading Through Workforce Woes? Here’s Why There’s a Staff Shortage in Healthcare

Will there ever be a cure? Learn about the most significant root causes and challenges as we face the staff shortage in healthcare.

Published on May 9, 2023
Last Updated on December 13, 2023

The healthcare industry has always faced staffing shortages. Further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector is projected to experience a global shortfall of over 18 million workers by 2030. This staff shortage in healthcare has led to increased workloads, burnout, mistakes, and ultimately, lower quality care. Let’s explore hte causes of the healthcare workforce shortage and its impact on the industry, and how healthcare organizations can free up their existing staff to focus on providing high-quality patient care through healthtech solutions.

Understanding the Growing Talent Shortage in Healthcare

The United States alone is expected to face a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034. This shortage is driven by several factors, including an aging population and increased healthcare utilization. Furthermore, record-high retirement rates among healthcare workers are straining healthcare organizations, and the current supply of healthcare professionals is unable to keep up with the rising demand.

The aging population, in particular, has substantially increased demand for healthcare services. As the elderly population grows, there is a higher need for specialized care for chronic conditions, geriatric care, and long-term care.

Additionally, there is a lack of a pipeline for new healthcare professionals as more and more medical students have started turning away from primary care. One major study found that medical students have pursued other more lucrative specialties due to inadequate compensation, student loan debt, and administrative burden.

With the ongoing healthcare shortage, it’s no wonder that healthcare organizations are increasing employee satisfaction and retention efforts. Many healthcare leaders struggle with inefficient recruitment and retention practices, inadequate training and development programs, and low employee morale. All of these result in high turnover rates. “In the last five years, the average hospital turned over 100.5% of its workforce,” Nursing Solutions, Inc. (NSI) reported.

Future-Proofing Healthcare: Four Healthtech Solutions for Surviving Staff Shortages

In the face of the global healthcare staff shortage, organizations are turning to innovative solutions to continuously bridge the workforce gap. Healthtech is emerging as a promising strategy to optimize healthcare operations and address staffing shortages. Here are ways healthtech solutions can help organizations tackle this global healthcare staff shortage:

1. Telehealth and Remote Monitoring

  • Telehealth solutions enable healthcare providers to deliver virtual care, allowing for remote consultations, monitoring, and treatment. This alleviates the burden of in-person healthcare services and expands access to care in underserved areas, effectively utilizing the existing healthcare workforce.

2. Artificial Intelligence and Automation

  • Healthtech solutions powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can streamline administrative tasks, such as appointment scheduling, medical coding, and billing, enabling healthcare professionals to intensify their focus on patient care. This increases operational efficiency and reduces the burden on existing staff.

3. Electronic Health Records (EHR) Systems

  • EHR systems enable the digital management of patient health records, improving communication and coordination among healthcare providers. This optimizes workflows, reduces administrative burdens, and enhances patient care, ultimately maximizing the utilization of healthcare professionals.

4. Remote Workforce Solutions

  • Healthtech solutions can enable remote work options for healthcare professionals, allowing them to work from home or other locations. This allows organizations to tap into a wider talent pool, overcome geographical barriers, and mitigate the impact of staffing shortages.

One way to maximize remote workforce solutions is to partner with a healthcare BPO (Business Process Outsourcing). Healthcare BPOs allow organizations to outsource non-core functions, such as customer service, revenue cycle management, and claims processing. It’s a great way to address the impact of the healthcare staff shortage while ensuring that operations and patient experiences are well-maintained.

Strategic Outsourcing: The Benefits of Partnering With a Healthcare BPO

The healthcare staff shortage is a critical issue requiring innovative strategies. However, leveraging the healthtech solutions mentioned above may be overwhelming for some organizations accustomed to existing processes. Thus, partnering with a healthcare BPO is an excellent way to access these tools and expertise in a cost-efficient manner.

Outsourcing providers have the flexibility to quickly scale (up or down) their operations based on the shifting needs of healthcare organizations. Through working with outsourcers, healthcare organizations can efficiently manage their workforce and address staffing shortages without compromising the quality of patient care.

Specialized Expertise
It’s important to partner with a BPO that has a proven track record specializing in healthcare. The teams should be equipped with expertise in medical coding and billing, telehealth services, patient scheduling, revenue cycle management, and more. These skills can help healthcare organizations streamline operations and ensure quality patient care.

Cost-Effective Solutions
Outsourcing healthcare processes to a BPO provider allows an organization to avoid the high costs of recruiting, hiring, and training in-house staff. It’s one key way to help organizations allocate their resources strategically and invest in other critical areas of their operations.

Enhanced Technology and Security
BPO providers typically offer advanced technology and data security measures to ensure the confidentiality of data collection processes. This is even more critical in the healthcare industry, which constantly deals with a mountain of sensitive data. BPO partners can also help healthcare providers comply with regulatory requirements and protect patient information.

There may be no perfect pill to cure the healthcare staff shortage, but these solutions are more than enough to mitigate the impact. Partnering with a healthcare BPO is also a great way to enhance an organization’s healthcare customer experience.

Achieve Better Efficiency With Us

As a trusted partner of several healthcare clients, TaskUs has delivered Ridiculously Good customer satisfaction results, provided seamless omnichannel healthcare support, and so much more. We understand the many challenges of providers, especially in this healthcare shortage. We’ve partnered with first-time healthcare outsourcers, experienced outsourcers, and even rapid-response organizations that needed swift support.

With a proven track record of providing outsourcing services to healthcare organizations, TaskUs is the perfect partner to outsource non-core functions such as administrative tasks, billing, and back-office operations.

Recognized by the Everest Group as the World's Fastest Business Process (Outsourcing) Service Provider in 2022 and with glowing reviews in Gartner Peer Insights Review, TaskUs continues to help clients succeed even during the most challenging times. Contact TaskUs today to learn how we can help your organization overcome staffing shortages with our future-proofing solutions.

  • 1^The global health workforce stock and distribution in 2020 and 2030: a threat to equity and ‘universal’ health coverage?
  • 2^Doctor shortages are here—and they’ll get worse if we don’t act fast | American Medical Association
  • 3^Why US medical students are shunning primary care | MDLinx
  • 4^Future Health Index 2022 Healthcare hits reset
  • 5^2023 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report
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