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Staff Challenges in Healthcare

Dr. Juan Valencia
April 15, 2022

The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on providers’ staffing efforts. It’s been estimated that nursing shortages have worsened compared to 2020. This phenomenon is supported by an OECD article: The looming Crisis In Healthcare Workforce. In this study, 

The nursing shortage will undoubtedly persist, particularly in rural areas and specific patient care needs, such as mental and long-term care. To meet surges in demand for care, hospitals and health systems have to shift personnel resources quickly. This required nurses to take on new tasks and responsibilities, raised questions about the scope of practice and introduced new means for patients to obtain treatment and interact with clinicians, such as through telehealth.

Given the criticality of the health workforce in the health system and the substantial time and resources invested in educating and developing skilled health workers, it is crucial to understand the factors that affect the size of the future health workforce and plan appropriately today.

Unfortunately, most healthcare workers must spend a considerable portion of their work dealing with monotonous and repetitive process-driven tasks due to inefficient and obsolete systems and operating models. Instead of doing what they are most significant at and what they entered the profession to do — providing the best possible care to patients — they are scanning and uploading papers and manually inserting data into numerous systems. Not only are these (often paper-based) administrative tasks a massive drain on time, but they are also a real drain on morale. Indeed, the inability to focus on patient care is one of the biggest reasons people leave healthcare professions.

Intelligent automation enables healthcare organizations to remove the burden of mundane administrative tasks from their clinical teams and free up staff to focus on patient care.

As doctors are increasingly becoming overwhelmed with the number of patients they have to see, automating specific processes would allow them to focus on higher-level tasks, such as diagnosing and treating patients. Central to overcoming this is improving the working lives of employees. Their days need enrichment with value-driving tasks, and they need the time in their day to focus on what’s necessary before getting home to their loved ones.

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