Acute care was ground-zero for the fight against COVID, and three years later we are still feeling the effects of the toll the battle took on experienced acute caregivers. Pre COVID workforce composition tilted nearly 80% toward experienced clinicians, while today in many settings the paradigm has flipped. The medtech industry is now being welcomed into the acute care setting to help address shortfalls in time and budget that are endemic in healthcare settings today by providing assistance with education and departmental support.
During a recent focus group conducted by the TCX Market Insights group, a nurse leader at a larger academic medical center expressed that their facility has experienced more than 100% turnover in their staff since 2022. In that institute and others, current nurse managers and schedulers reported that over 50% of their teams had less than one year experience and nearly 85% had less than five years. The challenge, according to one scheduler, is that she “may have 65 staff, but 30 are so new they can’t be placed on the same shift.” With facilities closed to schools for precepting and the heavy reliance on virtual didactic education during COVID, many recent graduates are coming into the job without ever having interacted with a live patient.
While the professional stresses are felt in every corner of healthcare, the emergency departments and ICUs have been particularly hard hit. As we approach the last expirations of COVID-era Medicare expansion1, emergency department staff are expecting major increases in traffic. “Right now we can’t even think about trying new products. Most of us just want to do our job and go home,” said one ER nurse in a major metropolitan hospital system.
As the floors creak beneath the weight of staffing shortages in hospitals and acute care settings, industry partners can be the support beam needed. Nurses and hospital leadership are more open than ever for industry to help make up the resource gap by providing improved product education, support from experienced clinicians, and continuous contact through direct and indirect methods.
The preceding article uses quotes and data from TCX's Spring 2023 “Clinician Check In Survey”. While the survey in full is not available for dissemination, we will be publishing additional articles based on our findings. To find out more about our surveys please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow our social media links at the bottom of this page.
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1Kaiser Family Foundation. “10 Things to Know About the Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Provision.” Kaiser Family Foundation, 18 Mar. 2021, https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/10-things-to-know-about-the-unwinding-of-the-medicaid-continuous-enrollment-provision/.