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Dr. Corey Scurlock MD, MBA, CEO & founder of Equum Medical, is addressing the challenge of rising labor costs in the healthcare industry, known as the “labordemic” by Fitch Ratings. This term reflects the need to control escalating expenses related to salaries, benefits, and training for healthcare professionals. Despite an increase in hospital volumes post-pandemic, hospitals are still struggling with margin management.

The American Hospital Association notes that staffing shortages are exacerbated by sicker patients with more complex medical cases, leading to burnout among clinicians. Bain & Company’s U.S. Clinician Burnout Survey revealed that a significant number of clinicians are considering changing careers due to lack of resources and burnout. To address the labordemic, hospitals are investing in technology and innovative solutions such as virtual care.

Implementing virtual care can help healthcare providers optimize operations and provide higher quality care at a lower cost. By reducing the need for in-person consultations and on-site personnel, virtual care can make healthcare more accessible and efficient. Signify’s research on the high acuity telehealth market highlights key areas such as tele-observation, tele-ICU, clinical surveillance, and encounter-based examinations.

To prepare for the shift towards virtual care, healthcare providers need to streamline operations and automate mundane tasks to free up personnel. Addressing burnout among front-line workers is crucial, and virtual care can offer flexibility in work schedules and help with job retention. Educating patients about virtual care is also important for successful implementation, as it can expand access to medical services and empower healthcare professionals.

In conclusion, the labordemic calls for innovative approaches in healthcare to address rising labor costs and burnout among clinicians. Embracing virtual care, investing in telehealth platforms, and consolidating workflows can create long-term solutions for providers. By focusing on creating a better work-life balance for workers and maintaining a sustainable focus on patient care, healthcare organizations can navigate the challenges posed by the labordemic successfully.

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