Breaking Down Talent Shortage In Healthcare And How Remote Work Can Help

Debamalya Mukherjee Business 30 October 2023 4 Mins Read
Talent Shortage

A talent shortage is when companies struggle to fill open positions because they cannot find qualified candidates. Even though the labor market is more stable in 2023, companies still face a skills gap.

A 2023 report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed that there are 9.6 million job openings in the U.S., but only 6.4 million people are unemployed, meaning there is more work than available workers.

While there have been concerns about talent shortage over the years, the Great Resignation during the COVID-19 pandemic made matters worse. Over 50 million workers quit their jobs in 2022, surpassing the 47.8 million recorded in 2021. Most cited poor work balance, inadequate compensation, and weak company culture as reasons they quit.

The healthcare, trade, food, and hospitality industries are most affected by talent shortages.

This article will focus on how remote work can help solve the talent shortage in the healthcare industry.

The Talent Shortage In The Healthcare Industry

The growing number of older Americans retiring from the workforce is creating a simultaneous increase in demand for healthcare services, including hospital care, nursing home care, and home health care. This is without ignoring the fact that some of these retirees are healthcare workers themselves.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasted 2.6 million job openings in the healthcare industry between 2021 and 2031. This is higher than any other sector. 

The healthcare industry is grappling with a near-crisis shortage of healthcare professionals.

How Remote Work Can Help

Although most healthcare professionals need physical contact with patients to deliver their service, some could work remotely. Despite this, the industry has one of the lowest rates of remote workers in white-collar jobs.

Meanwhile, staff that do not require physical contact with patients have been observed to be more productive and experience less burnout when working remotely.

Hiring more remote workers can reduce the workload of onsite staff. For example, a study found that for every hour a doctor spends with a patient, they spend twice as much working with new electronic health records (EHR) systems and paperwork.

Meanwhile, hiring Remote Medical Scribes can help reduce such waste of precious time. Virtual medical scribes are trained to document each doctor-patient encounter, handle charting information, and update patient records. 

They can do this via telescribe technology.

Some organizations are also exploring virtual nursing programs, which pair nurses with bedside nurses to care for patients.

Virtual nurses assist with aspects of patient care that do not require physical contact, such as education, discharge planning, and monitoring. It can also connect bedside nurses with more experienced health professionals who can coach and supervise remotely.

This program reduces stress and burnout for experienced nurses approaching retirement. It allows the organization to continue leveraging their expertise without impairing their work-life balance. Broad adoption of such programs can also help reduce talent shortage and Great Resignation.

Advantages Of Remote Work For Healthcare Organizations

Health facilities with an organizational culture that positively influences employee job satisfaction are likelier to experience low turnover. 

High-performing cultures have also been proven to achieve outstanding results, attract and retain top talent, and adapt quickly to change.

Remote work culture is expected to benefit employees and improve productivity. Below are some advantages of remote work:

Improves Safety

Remote work’s most immediate benefit is increased safety. It can help reduce hospital staff exposure to an infection or radiation. It can help to mitigate work injuries that might result in a personal injury lawsuit.

Expensive and time-consuming hygiene protocols can also be minimized or eliminated altogether.

Reduces Staff Shortage

While the unavailability of specific equipment to handle a medical emergency, such as the case of ventilators during the pandemic, gains media attention, there is usually less discussion about the shortages of the operators. 

Also, in 2022, about 334,000 healthcare practitioners left the workforce due to retirement and burnout, among other factors. 

Remote work solutions can provide relief by keeping retired physicians and nurses in the workforce, for instance, in consulting roles, while reducing stress and burnout for experienced staff. 

Improves Efficiency And Productivity

Remote work solutions eliminate the stress of commuting to work, allowing employees more time to handle tasks. 

Remote work has also been shown to boost productivity, improve morale, and reduce stress and burnout, leading to fewer treatment errors.

Flexible Work Hours

One of the leading reasons for the Great Resignation is “not enough flexibility to choose when to put in more hours.”

Many American workers are willing to take a pay cut for the opportunity to work remotely. Remote work allows better time scheduling and flexible work hours. 

It can help improve employee happiness and, at the same time, reduce payroll.

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For over 4+ years, Debamalya’s blogs in Voice of Action have been helping people reinvent themselves like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. But what is the hack to this Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Taking S.M.A.R.T actions in this Pursuit of Happiness! After reading his blogs, you will find yourself looking inward for solutions for all problems in your life – emotional, physical, financial – you name it. He also has an ingenious way of playing The Witcher 3 and Sekiro as a form of “free therapy”.

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