Supply and Demand in the Healthcare Workforce

Andrew P. Doro

January 12, 2023

The healthcare workforce is an ever-growing part of the American economy. This is due to the growing demand for patients, as well as the need for a large number of trained and experienced doctors and other professionals. In order to meet the increasing demands for health care, the healthcare industry has implemented numerous strategies to keep up with the changing demands. However, a number of challenges still remain. These challenges include the repurposing of human assets, the utilization of limited healthcare supplies, and the influence of physicians and healthcare providers.

AHA Health Care Jobs Report

The American Hospital Association (AHA) released its Strengthening the Healthcare Workforce report, which addresses the current state of the healthcare workforce and provides recommendations for future workforce growth and sustainability. The report is the result of a board-appointed task force focused on securing the future supply of needed healthcare professionals. It also includes case studies, resources and long-term strategies to address the issues facing the healthcare workforce.

In addition to addressing the healthcare workforce’s immediate needs, AHA’s report calls for supporting healthcare workers’ mental and physical health as they deal with a changing patient population. To do this, the organization recommends providing staff with mental health awareness training and eliminating stigmas around behavioural healthcare.

Other recommendations include developing a culture that values mission-driven values, which can strengthen employee satisfaction. Leaders should also address burnout system-wide, prioritizing accountability and physical and psychological safety for both patients and employees.

Influence of physicians and healthcare providers

The healthcare workforce is a vital component of the American economy. Its lack of availability can impact access to care and can lead to a loss of needed services. As such, it is important to address the issue and find effective solutions to ensure that patients have quality care.

Physicians are critical to delivering primary health care. Their presence is also linked to better health outcomes, including life expectancy, fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease, and lower mortality from all causes.

There are many factors to consider when looking at the supply and demand of the medical profession. This includes the aging population, the increasing need for specialized care, and advancements in the “state-of-the-art” delivery of care.

A study by Mercer suggests that there will be a shortage of 29 thousand of nurse practitioners by 2025. And an analysis by the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, School of Health Sciences, finds that there is a shortage of allied health professionals.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the supply and demand of health care workers. During the pandemic, many sectors of the health industry experienced a sharp drop in employment. However, the numbers have bounced back. In July 2020, the number of jobs in the health industry was 95% of what it was before the pandemic.

Health services utilization was also lower than expected. Despite this, the total cost of lost wages has been estimated to be $200 billion a year.

Since the pandemic, the unemployment rate for healthcare workers has been higher than before. For Black, Latinx, and American Indian populations, the unemployment rate is the highest.

A significant number of workers are quitting their jobs, especially in the non-health care sector. This trend has continued since the pandemic, and media attention has focused on the increase in job quitting.

Guidelines on utilization of limited healthcare supplies

The shortage of healthcare supplies has become a serious problem worldwide, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. A major outbreak in Lombardy, Italy, caused the infection to spread throughout the world’s factories, limiting the transportation networks and disrupting the global healthcare supply chain. Many hospitals and nurses were unable to leave their homes, awaiting employment opportunities to return, while many others travelled to areas in need of extra staff. This created a huge demand shock for the healthcare system.

When developing guidelines on the utilization of limited healthcare supplies, it’s important to be flexible, transparent, and dynamic. These three factors will help ensure that the guidelines are effective and readily recognizable to patients, providers, and healthcare organizations. In addition, it is important to develop guidelines that can be used to match future utilization rates to expected supply availability.