U.S. Healthcare Services Report | Q4 2022

Healthcare Staffing Shortages Have Reached Crisis Level

The healthcare industry is experiencing a series of significant challenges. In our Q2 2022 Healthcare Research Report, we examined the cost concerns the sector is facing. Another equally pressing issue, which also has cost implications, is the marked shortage of healthcare workers. Fewer workers mean that fewer beds are available for patients. Insufficient staffing creates bottlenecks in outpatient and acute-care facilities, resulting in increased wait times. In extreme cases, some hospitals have been forced to divert patients altogether. In this report, we examine the staffing shortage across several themes. Firstly, we quantify the extent of the losses occurring, followed by addressing why workers are leaving the industry. Next, we address the impact of the staffing shortfall on costs. Finally, we examine how medical workforce needs are changing and look at measures healthcare systems can take to stem the tide, increase hiring and retain key employees.

 Key Findings

  • Staffing shortages in the healthcare industry are at a crisis level, with turnover at an all-time high.
  • While the pandemic heightened the scale of the problem, understaffing is a structural issue that has dogged the healthcare sector for several years.
  • Burnout, low wages, feeling overworked and a lack of management support are key drivers of the exodus in staffing.
  • The use of contract workers has driven staffing costs to an unsustainable level and is creating tension with lower-paid local employees.
  • Employee needs have shifted. Flexible work patterns are now an essential requirement.
  • Healthcare systems that adapt to the new worker paradigm will have the best success.

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