Survey: Labor Shortages Top Issue Confronting Hospitals Last Year

Public Health

Survey: Labor Shortages Top Issue Confronting Hospitals Last Year

"Hospitals need to take both long and short-term measures to address critical workforce issues so they can continue to provide safe, high-quality care now and in the future."

Hospital CEOs say that workforce challenges were the most significant concern facing their hospital in 2022, according to a new survey.

Due to personnel shortages and staff burnout, healthcare executives say there's a dire need to address hospital workforce issues.

"Hospitals need to take both long and short-term measures to address critical workforce issues so they can continue to provide safe, high-quality care now and in the future," said Deborah J. Bowen, the CEO, and president of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

The findings were published by ACHE after it surveyed members to identify challenges hospitals struggled to overcome in 2022.

Two hundred and eighty-one CEOs from community hospitals across the U.S. ranked 11 issues in order of importance impacting their hospitals and concerns within each area. Some of the workforce challenges confronting hospitals included a need for more registered nurses, technicians, physician specialists, and primary care physicians, researchers said.

The issues were ranked in order of importance, with smaller numbers alluding to those issues with immediate concern. CEOs listed the average rating for workforce challenges as 1.8 on an 11-point scale.

Hospital CEOs said they were also worried about financial challenges and addiction issues, which ranked second and third, respectively, on this year’s survey.

Last year saw the lingering effects of COVID-19 along with other trends causing stubborn healthcare worker shortages, which we explored here. Taken in total, it painted a picture of an industry facing what one prominent group calls “a national emergency,” one attracting national attention and coverage from venerable news programs such as 60 Minutes

In response, medical device companies have been getting innovative. Endoscopy companies, for example, tout single-use endscopes as a tool to address staffing shortages because they are always available and are sterile straight from the pack.

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