As clinical staff continue to exit the healthcare sector in record numbers, and the health of our country continues to deteriorate, are hospitals and healthcare systems ready for the challenge ahead?
BALTIMORE, Nov. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The pandemic has stressed health systems like never before, creating massive challenges. Its impact will continue to be felt for years, possibly decades. It has exacerbated clinician staffing shortages, led to an overall decline in the health of Americans, and accelerated the demand for remote care delivery. To survive, healthcare systems must respond quickly and adapt by embracing new ways of thinking and implementing emerging technologies.
These are the findings compiled in a newly released report, America’s Healthcare Crisis – Health Systems Prepare to be Tested Like Never Before, issued by national healthcare consultancy Sage Growth Partners. The report is based on a July 2022 survey of 100 top hospital and healthcare executives.
“Our new report uncovers alarming data about the state of overall health in America, with 67% of our survey respondents indicating that they believe the health of Americans is worse now than it was before the pandemic,” said Dan D’Orazio, Sage Growth Partners, CEO. “Key factors contributing to this health decline are the high rate of cancelled and delayed care appointments as well as the tremendous impact that clinical staffing shortages and a lack of health equity are having across the industry. To address challenges such as these, it will take the full cooperation of the entire healthcare ecosystem to solve.”
The survey report also reveals a significant shift in the healthcare industry’s strategic priorities over the previous two years. For instance, hospital leaders now say that staff recruitment and retention has become their top priority (71%), far ahead of growing revenue (42%) and reducing costs (38%).
Among other key findings in the report:
- 64% of respondents said that reducing the use of agency employees, such as travel nurses, is very important when considering reducing costs.
- Only 26% say telehealth is among their organization’s top five technology initiatives within the next two years.
- Nearly 80% indicated that workforce resilience is the greatest challenge facing their organization over the next two years.
- Only 4% consider their organization to be proficient or an expert at implementing remote care.
- Just 20% said hospitals and health systems have been very effective in making strides toward sustainable and equitable health care.
- Those surveyed believe that more than half of patients (57%) are delaying wellness visits, while primary care follow-up visits (46%) cancer screenings (45%) and elective surgeries (41%) are also being delayed.
“The U.S. healthcare system is in a state of peril. Staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic are the tip of the spear, causing access concerns when access to care is now more critical than ever,” said Stephanie Kovalick, Sage Growth Partners, chief strategy officer. “With patients being boarded in the ED for days before being admitted and primary care appointment wait times as long as 6 months, the decline in health of Americans will only worsen. Better leveraging technology to ease staffing burdens and increase access is paramount for us to provide better and needed care. In the face of a recession, urgency is even more important.”
The full report, America’s Healthcare Crisis – Health Systems Prepare to be Tested Like Never Before, can be found here.