How Telehealth Helps Address Healthcare Worker Shortages
Health Facilities Can Use Telemedicine to Improve Efficiency, Reduce Costs and Attract Talent
The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing job sectors in the United States, with an expected growth rate of 14% over the next eight years, adding around 1.9 million new jobs. Demand for healthcare services is expected to rise in the years ahead as baby boomers age and the number of Americans living with at least one chronic condition grows. Without access to additional providers, patient outcomes could suffer as existing healthcare workers try to keep up with demand.
Healthcare facilities can use the latest virtual care technology to address and prevent these staffing issues. Telehealth can reduce the amount of time nurses and other care providers need to spend with their patients, so they have more time to complete their rounds. Companies and facilities looking to fill empty positions should learn more about the benefits of telehealth and how it can reduce staffing shortages.
Reducing the Need for Healthcare Services
Telehealth can help facilities reduce the number of patients that require in-person healthcare services. Patients recovering from surgery and those with severe chronic conditions will need to be monitored by a healthcare professional at all hours of the day. Providers can use digital health apps, instant messaging, and live video and audio to remotely check up on their patients. With 24/7 access to their patients, providers can use this technology to improve health outcomes and prevent possible emergencies down the line.
Instead of having providers physically walk from room to room, they can use remote patient monitoring tools to keep an eye on these patients while they recover in the comfort of their own homes. Providers can quickly monitor the patient’s vitals, send them important reminders, and help them reach their long-term health goals without wasting precious time throughout the day. This reduces the need for in-person healthcare services by lowering readmission rates and preventing unexpected trips to the emergency room that can easily overwhelm staff members and raise healthcare costs.
Simplifying Clinical Workflows
Care providers can also use telehealth to simplify their daily routines so they can spend more time caring for patients and less time completing redundant steps and manual processes. Providers can easily collect data on their patients using remote patient monitoring, the Internet of Things, and other wireless medical devices. Electronic health records (EHRs) systems and data analytics programs will organize patient data, helping providers quickly make sense of this information.
This reduces the amount of time providers need to spend entering information into the system, generating reports, and making treatment recommendations. For example, nurses typically spend about 10% of their time educating patients about their diagnoses and treatment recommendations. With digital health tools, nurses can quickly educate their patients efficiently and effectively.
Attracting the Next Generation of Nurses
As demand for healthcare workers continues to grow around the country, many healthcare facilities may find themselves competing for talent in the years to come, particularly in rural areas or those with existing staffing shortages. Facilities can use the latest telehealth technology to improve staffing workflows and ease the burden on existing staff members, thus reducing staff burnout rates and other on-the-job hazards. Healthcare providers tend to suffer from high rates of stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Facilities can use digital tools to keep existing staff members satisfied and fulfilled on the job, thus reducing employee turnover rates and recruiting costs.
The next generation of providers will be more likely to accept a job at a healthcare facility if they know they will have access to technology that’s designed to keep them safe and help them do more with less. Providers may be wary of accepting a new job if it means reverting to manual processes, trying to manage too many patients at once, or working around the clock.
As the healthcare industry continues to adapt to these changes, more facilities will likely adopt telehealth services to reduce the need for additional staff members. Visit InTouch Health to learn more about how this technology can help facilities attract and retain talent.