2021: A look back at healthcare’s wild ride
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It’s a new year, and it’s the same old (slightly updated story). We seemed to get past the worst of the Delta variant, only to find ourselves in an even worse predicament with Omicron as the demand for hospital beds continues to rise. While many hospitals may have enough beds for patients, they may not have enough staff. Almost 20% of hospitals are reporting critical staffing shortages nationwide. Some health systems are reporting that a quarter of their staff is out because of the virus. The need for clinicians to isolate or quarantine is compounding pre-existing staffing shortages stemming from exhaustion and burnout. Health systems are canceling elective procedures, turning away emergency patients, and looking to traveling nurses and even the National Guard for staffing help.
Health systems need to find new ways to offer staff a lifeline. While money talks, digital solutions reduce manual workloads and free up staff to focus on patient care. They also improve work-life balance and connect clinicians back to the purpose underlying their work. From predictive staffing tools to computer-assisted physician documentation, online scheduling solutions, and virtual visits, health systems can help their staff reclaim valuable working hours and reduce their risk of burnout – and of Omicron. Now is the time to embrace digital transformation and find ways to improve the agility, resiliency, and wellbeing of your workforce. Let’s get started.
Most health systems aren’t yet ready to deliver whole-person care for the populations most at risk for poor health outcomes. But health systems that implement digital solutions and evidence-based care models are in the best position to deliver personalized care that meets the needs of underresourced populations. Digital tools that advance health equity can encourage the use of primary care and specialty services while reducing emergency department visits and readmissions.
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