According to the results of a recent survey conducted by Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions, health system leaders and hospitals expect to encounter challenges and disruptions in 2023. Based on the responses from 131 C-suite executives, 85% of health system leaders expect staffing challenges will impact their strategy, and 76% of leaders expect inflation and as well as a tight labor market will play a significant role.
A vast majority of health system leaders recognise that it is critical they invest in their workforce in 2023. Many organisational and systemic factors including design, culture, workforce supply, and policy are playing a huge role in driving the high rates of staff burnout, prompting many leaders to address the mental health and well being of their staff.
One strategy being used to reduce burnout involves outsourcing administrative tasks to health workers in other countries, including the Philippines and India. However, labor costs in those countries are on the rise, and some of that work might be shifting to lower-cost countries.
Alternatively, hospital and health system leaders are looking to adopt more innovative approaches to provide more flexibility in how and where clinicians work, relieving work stress and improving how staff work.
For example, digital technology could replace administrative tasks, getting rid of low-value activities, allowing clinicians more time to spend directly with patients.
In addition to these challenges, the safety of clinicians and employees has become a growing concern, as more doctors and nurses are reporting episodes of bullying and violence. Reportedly, 25% of nurses were physically assaulted by a patient or a patient family member, or encountered verbal abuse and bullying in hospitals by other staff members.
Inflation and affordability are a growing concern. As the cost of living expenses increase, people may delay their routine and preventive care, which can lead to higher medical costs in the future. Delays in preventive care, including cancer screening tests,may lead to increase in late-stage diagnosis and implies worse health outcomes. Whilst inflation is most likely to impact a health system strategy, health plans could be affected after 2023 when health systems bear the brunt of the financial consequences.
To ensure patients have a positive experience, health systems must ensure they are meeting the needs of their patients, which includes improving access, experience and convenience. Therefore, many health plan executives have listed alternative sites of care as a top priority. Alternative care sites are an opportunity to provide more equitable and accessible care, filling the gaps in care delivery and improving consumer care experience.
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