Don’t Let the Labor Shortage Hurt Your Patient Access

Dont Let The Labor Shortage Hurt Your Patient Access Web

The Great Resignation. The Big Quit. The Great Reshuffle. Call it what you will, but there’s no denying the lingering impact of COVID‑19 on the workforce. With over 10 million job openings across the country, every industry in the US is experiencing staffing shortages.[1]

The healthcare sector has been especially hard hit: health systems are running on razor-thin labor margins. From contact centers to operating rooms, from the front desk to the back office, from x-ray technicians to orthopedic surgeons, seemingly every area of a health system is desperate for more workers.

  • Five-year projected shortage of lower-wage healthcare workers: 3.2 million[2]
  • Three-year projected nursing shortage: 200,000 to 450,000[3]
  • Twelve-year projected physician shortage: 37,800 to 124,000[4]

The labor shortage is impacting access to care so drastically that most health systems have had to reduce hours or adjust service-level expectations. Ambulatory leaders have begun to accept that their practices won’t be able to answer phones quickly, respond to patient messages efficiently, or fill schedules fully—and in the worst-case scenario, they will have to limit capacity until more staff are available.

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This article was originally published in the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Insight publication on January 4, 2023.