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Can Remote Care Help with the Healthcare Staffing Crisis?

All healthcare workers have rough days now and then. And when they enter the profession, most accept the fact that they come with the territory.

But what happens when bad days become weeks, weeks become months—and months unbelievably transform into years, as they have during COVID-19?

It will, understandably, take its toll.

Perhaps most stark is the crushing blow that has been dealt to hospital-based clinicians. Consider these recent survey results:

And health system leaders are feeling the pinch. According to a KPMG survey of more than 200 healthcare CEOs, workforce concerns are top of mind in 2022. Two-thirds of CEOs are worried about their organization’s ability to meet the demand for services.

Ongoing Mental and Public Health Crises

Even as the pandemic ebbs and flows, the demand for care is only increasing. 

In addition to the flood of patients dealing with COVID-19 variants, and those who have delayed care and screenings because of the crisis, an aging population means that demand for care—and healthcare staff—will continue to rise. According to Reuters:

“Currently, 16.5% of the U.S. population of 328 million people, or 54 million, are over the age of 65, the latest census shows. By 2030, that number will rise to 74 million. The number of people over the age of 85, who generally need the most care, is growing even faster.” 

Adapting to the Staffing Crisis with Remote Care

Since the healthcare staffing shortage is a long-term challenge, leaders must get creative. Focusing on three areas can help:

  1. Building care models that reduce reliance on hospital-based clinicians
  2. Creating flexible schedules and role options
  3. Augmenting staffing with virtual care tools

These three tactics all converge in care-at-home programs. Home-based care models offer health systems a way to expand capacity, reduce hospital admissions and emergency visits, and deliver the same quality of care with fewer staff. Further, the staff roles within these programs offer potential flexibility and reprieve from the demands of bedside nursing. 

Remote care programs, including Hospital at Home, allow nurses to safely care for more patients than bedside care models. With greater distance from the bedside and more flexible schedules, roles within care-at-home teams can help some nurses recover from pandemic-fueled exhaustion and find renewed energy in remote patient care. 

Extend Teams with Third Party Clinical Command Centers

A third-party Clinical Command Center is one way to help manage and staff a new program, especially when the program type demands more clinical support than they currently can provide. 

A Clinical Command Center centralizes patient monitoring, and serves to triage, escalate, and coordinate care. Partnering with an external Clinical Command Center for some or all patient monitoring responsibilities increases the capacity of your care-at-home program and allows your in-house team to practice at the top of their license. 

Learn more about Clinical Command Centers in our on-demand webinar: Staffing Your Care-at-Home Program.

March 07, 2022