What Do Health Care Staff Shortages Mean for 2023?

Andrew P. Doro

November 30, 2022

Andrew P. Doro

Understanding what healthcare staff shortages will look like in 2023 is important if you want to do your part to keep your patients safe and healthy. The needs are predicted to grow at about a percentage point per year, so it’s important to ensure you’re prepared.

Higher patient ratios

Earlier this year, Andrew Cuomo signed a far-reaching law mandating a 2-1 patient-to-nurse ratio in intensive care units across the state. This is part of a broader push by the state’s nursing unions and healthcare administrators to implement better staffing standards in hospitals and nursing homes.

But the law has yet to be implemented, and healthcare administrators are already warning of the pitfalls of requiring hospitals to meet a minimum staffing ratio. They point out that fewer nurses and other healthcare staff will increase workloads and longer wait times. Even federal money cannot cover the expense of increasing staffing levels. Consequently, many hospitals will need help to comply with the new standard.

The legislation, sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of New York state assembly members, requires hospitals to establish nurse-to-patient ratios. These will be negotiated with the hospital nursing staff. Ultimately, the state’s largest nursing union, the New York State Nurses Association, is expected to set the staffing levels.

Lower care quality

Despite the progress in the fight against COVID-19, the nation still faces critical staffing shortages. Hospitals struggle to find enough nurses, doctors, and other health professionals to meet demand. These shortages are projected to last for the next five to ten years. This can dent the nation’s ability to deliver quality healthcare.

According to a recent Ipsos and USA Today survey, one in three healthcare workers is considering quitting. This is a problem that predates the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shortage of nurses and doctors also leads to the rise of non-physician-owned medical practices, often leading to decreased staff satisfaction. Non-physician-owned practices are also responsible for reducing the margins for private practices.

Increased costs-Health Care Staff Shortages

Despite the current wave of healthcare inflation, the industry is facing a major affordability crisis. Economists are warning that wage pressures will drive healthcare costs to skyrocket. But in the past two years, Americans have avoided paying more for doctor visits and job-based health insurance.

As the healthcare industry struggles to find enough workers, the number of employees is expected to increase by 7 per cent to 10 per cent over the next five years. However, the supply of registered nurses is likely to shrink, which could lead to retention issues.

The labour inflation rate is projected to be 10 per cent by 2022, but the clinical labour costs are expected to grow by 6 to 10 per cent over the next two years. This could result in an additional $90 billion healthcare expenditures by 2027.

A better ecosystem of support tools

A staffing shortage is among the top three reasons hospitals and health systems are looking to bolster their bottom line. The challenge is that a healthy labour pool is essential for providing good patient care. In addition, new technologies have enabled a more flexible staffing approach.

While a shortage of health care professionals is unavoidable, it isn’t just nurses in short supply. Telemedicine has given a boost to US-based providers and international physicians. Some of the same technologies are also making waves in the private sector. Many mobile applications connect eligible healthcare workers to their next job. Several of the apps are also enabling new forms of data-sharing.

While the number of mobile health applications is increasing, the number of employees using them is still rising. Healthcare organizations must find ways to attract and retain good staff to stay ahead of the competition.

Countries stepping up efforts to lure foreign nurses-Health Care Staff Shortages

Thousands of nurses leave their home countries annually to work in richer nations. They are driven by career mobility, better pay, and improved working conditions. They also send money home to their families. However, these migrant nurses often leave behind a health system that is not adequately resourced. The emergence of a global nursing shortage is a major concern. As healthcare systems struggle to cope with droughts, high-income nations aggressively recruit medical workers from poorer countries.

The United Kingdom has seen a huge increase in international nurses in the past two years. There are currently 95 countries sending nurses to the U.K., up from 71 in 2001. The number is expected to hit a 30-year high in 2023. The United Kingdom has also been recruiting nurses from Africa. In 2000, more than 500 nurses left Ghana for work in the industrialized nations.