Not counting the impact of a pandemic, the number of patients seeking care has been increasing and will continue to increase due to the aging population and increase in life expectancy in the US. In addition, caring for these patients is more complex. Patients and residents over the age of 65 with multiple chronic conditions account for 70 percent of all inpatient stays.
The laws of supply and demand dictate that more patients or residents need more caregivers. To put it in perspective, we would need approximately 500,000 more RNs to meet the demand! On top of that, many of our current nurses are aging with 1.9 million expected to retire over the next 5 years. This will lead to an inevitable shortage of 2 million nurses by 2023.
We are living in a reality where more patients are being cared for by less staff and COVID has made it even more challenging. In 5 years, caring for patients in hospitals and nursing homes will be impossible without significant technological innovation that allows for higher quality care with less resources and manual labor.
So how do you prepare?
It’s not just about knowing the solutions and technology available, it’s about understanding where your organization can optimize and automate. We know that reducing manual labor and documentation is going to allow clinicians to adequately care for more patients and residents. We also know that proper staff allocation will allow nursing floors and hospital units to be more efficient and manage larger patient or resident loads. These are just a few examples, but they represent a list of areas where augmented intelligence and automation can help your team labor less and care more.
When assessing new technologies to address these needs it is important to start with a few questions. Is this is a growing technology or a dying technology? Can we meet new requirements and use-cases or does the technology have limitations? In tomorrow’s world, efficiency and optimization will be king and it will not stop at care delivery, it will extend to what tools we deliver and how we deliver them. It’s time to start preparing.