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3 Ways Digital Healthcare Addresses Workforce Shortages


(Source: Since the “Great Resignation” began, many healthcare organizations have been struggling to maintain a standard of care that doesn’t increase costs in a time of economic uncertainty.

Just how bad is it? The number of nurses decreased in 2021 for the first time in 18 years, while 80% of rural counties continue to not have a single psychiatrist in their borders. For those providers left, over half have reported experiencing burnout. Digital healthcare has emerged as a cost-effective solution to this growing problem. Here are three ways digital healthcare is being used to alleviate pain points associated with a shrinking healthcare workforce while increasing patient satisfaction in the process.

1: Virtual tools to save nursing time

Virtual nursing and e-sitting combats worker shortage through optimizing and supporting the work of bedside staff, freeing up resources and infusing experienced registered nurses (RNs) as virtual nurses in the care team to promote safe, quality, patient-centered care. 

In December 2021, UPMC Health Plan, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Penn., partnered with UPMC Passavant Hospital on a virtual discharge pilot to help combat nurse burnout and mitigate the ongoing shortage. The pilot focused on a 30-bed inpatient unit specialized in orthopedics and urology. Because of its high throughput of patients, the unit made the perfect environment to test the effectiveness of a virtual discharge pilot.


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