In the United States, there are almost 4 million nurses. This may seem like a large number, but looking at a more granular level, most healthcare facilities are stretched to their limits. There is a nursing shortage in this country, and the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics has projected that an additional 1.1 million nurses will be needed to prevent a further shortage. Personnel shortages in the healthcare industry are an ongoing concern coming from two fronts, but there is a solution to help mitigate the issue.
Hospital Stays Are on the Rise
As of 2018, there were roughly 930,000 staffed hospital beds in the United States. By contrast, there were over 36 million hospital stays, and that number is on the rise. This puts hospitals at a severed staffing disadvantage, which translates to higher burnout rates, lower-quality care, and diminished patient satisfaction. Over the next few years, the ratio between hospital staff and patients will become more skewed if a solution is not found.
Challenges within the Nursing Workforce
Healthcare professionals are aging, and in the next 10 years, we will see approximately one-third of nurses reaching retirement. Nurses are also human, often trying to balance work and home life, along with furthering their education. A growing personnel shortage is leading to an increased burnout and turnover rate among nurses. As of 2018, the national average for turnover among nurses showed a wide variance, from 8.8% to 37%, depending on the region. In short, the healthcare industry needs a solution that is more than just a stop-gap measure.
Teleprofessionals as a Long-Term Solution
To solve personnel shortages within the healthcare industry, providers are turning to advances in teleprofessional services. Telemedicine and telenursing allow providers to give the quality care patients need across the continuum of care, while also streamlining operations to help facilities meet quantity with quality and stem the growing personnel shortages. By implementing telenursing stations in healthcare facilities, providers can monitor patients and give quality care as needed without stretching schedules or burning out nurses who would otherwise become overwhelmed with making rounds and checking up on a large number of patients. To learn more about teleprofessional solutions for hospitals, contact BANYAN today.