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We have a new leader in the clubhouse. Financial challenges takes a backseat to staffing challenges. What can Health IT do to help?


Today Ashley survey shows top issues confronting hospitals in 2021. And we have a new leader in the clubhouse. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week health, a set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders.

Gordian dynamics, Quill health tower site nuance, Canon medical, and current health. Check them out at this week. All right. This Thursday, tomorrow, February 24th at 1:00 PM. Eastern time, we have a phenomenal webinar coming to you. We have two health systems that have moved to epic in Azure.

That's not epic in the cloud. That's an epic hosted. This is epic on Azure.

St. Luke's university health network and cone health, and they are going to share their journey and what they did. To get to applicant and Azure. If, so if you have a chance tomorrow at 1:00 PM Eastern time to join us, that would be great. And you can sign up at this week. And even if you can't go ahead and sign up, you'll get an email with the on demand webinar. As soon as we are done.

All right, let's get to today's story. Ashley did a survey. It's a good survey. So top issues confronting hospitals in 2021. And I'm going to go right into it. Personnel shortages ranked number one on the list of hospital CEOs, top concerns in 2021, according to the American college of healthcare executives, anal survey of top issues, confronting hospitals.

Financial challenges, which had led the ranking since 2004. Was listed second patient safety and quality ranked third. So we do have a new leader in the clubhouse. It is. Staffing issues and we're going to get into more detail on what that is about and financial challenges took a second place to it.

We're the first time in. Wow. , almost two decades kind of amazing. All right. Here's quote, this is the first time since 2004, that the financial challenges has moved from the most significant challenge to the second position. Both long and short term solutions are needed to address. The shortages in critical frontline staff shown in our study to ensure hospitals have workforces that can meet the demands for safe high quality.

Care both today and into the future

Says Deborah, Jay Bowen, president and CEO of ashy longer-term solutions include increasing the pipeline of staff to these positions,

as well as organization level efforts to increase staff retention, more immediate solutions include supporting and developing all staff, building staff resilience and exploring alternative models of care. All right.

In the survey, as she asked. Respondents to rank 11 issues affecting their hospitals in order of how pressing they are and to identify specific areas of concern within each of these issues. Following are some of the key results from the survey, which was sent to 1,327. Community hospital CEOs who are ashy members of whom 300, 10 or 23% responded.

The issue cited by survey respondents are those of immediate concern. And do not necessarily reflect ongoing hospital priorities. All right. So number one, personnel shortages, all types, including physicians. Financial challenges. Number two, patient safety and quality. Number three, behavioral health addiction issues. Number four, government mandates five access to care six.

Patient satisfaction. Seven. Eight nine and 10, our physician hospital relations technology and population health management. So there you have it. Let's break down the personnel shortages. A little more detailed. Where are they? Where are they at? , number one is registered nurses, 94% of those who responded said, Hey, we've got a registered nurses and RN.

, issue at our health system. , technicians, , medical technicians, lab technicians, 85% therapists. That is physical therapist, respiratory therapist, 67% primary care physicians. 45% physician specialists, 43. And physician extenders 31%.

And it goes on to break down the financial challenges. Increasing costs for staff and supplies, reducing operating costs, Medicaid, reimbursement, managed care, and other commercial insurance payments. Bad debt competition from other providers. It's interesting to note competition from other providers is that far down the list and it's only 39%.

, interesting in and of itself. Covering fundings next Medicare reimbursement transitioned from volume to value. If you're wondering why this never gets done, this is one of the reasons it never gets done. It's not that it's not a priority. It's just, it never gets to the top of the list. There's always something there's always a tyranny.

Of the urgent. So that's why. Transitioned from volume to value. Doesn't get up there. And if you go down a little further, it, , It has price transparency, which we talked about yesterday is really low on the list. And moving away from fee for service is the lowest on that list of things. So just something to consider a patient's safety. Let me give you the top three high price, sufficient reimbursement for medications.

Engaged physicians in improving the culture. Of and quality of care and safety. , redesigning care processes.

So that's essentially what we get from the survey. Let me give you my cell one on this. The survey gives us a strong indication of what is going on in healthcare today. If you want to know what's being discussed in the boardroom,

this survey gives you some indication. Now each health system will have its unique discussions, but generally if we visited boardrooms and captured the meeting minutes, a majority of them are talking about staffing challenges right now, cost of labor, labor, shortages, burnout, back to work. , the board and the CEO have been tasked with addressing these challenges.

Those that figure this out at least have a viable plan for this will have a significant competitive advantage. Those who don't could face months, if not years of declining margins to financial pressure. , labor strife and get mired in a quagmire. That doesn't allow any progress on other initiatives.

This is one of those issues that has to be addressed. Health it has been asked, what can you do to help? And at a minimum, this will require that we don't do projects that hurt employee morale and increase the workload. , to be honest, we haven't always been the clinician's best friend with some of the projects that we've rolled out.

We need fully baked projects that consider the staff workload and workflow as primary factors in design and implementation decisions. The clinician and particularly the nurses will be our focus. How do we support their increasing workload and the staff shortages that they are facing? How do we take some of the mundane away from them and let them care for patients? How do we make them more efficient and effective and add joy and time back to their work? What can we do? Computer vision offers the best solution that I've seen so far companies like artists' site are creating a team of robots around the hospital that give nurses another set of eyes and alleviate the daily cognitive load.

Automation, all of AI new. Path and others can automate the mundane and take the manual repetitive tasks away from the nurses. Freeing them up to do the job that they signed up for. They didn't sign up to be data entry, clerks, or alert, response robots. They want to provide care to patients. The challenge to support our clinicians with technology has gone from a priority to a requirement.

I'll leave you with this. It's just one question. Look at your it projects right now. All 100 plus of them and ask yourself, how does this support the nurses in our health system? That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Apple, Google overcast, Spotify, Stitcher. You get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Gordie and dynamics, Quill health towel, site nuance, Canon medical, and current health. 📍 Check them out at this week. Thanks for listening.

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