Home healthcare, also called the continuum of care, includes any care a patient receives after being discharged from the hospital. Home health is growing in demand, due to factors such as the aging baby boomer population and the shortage of nurses and physicians in the hospital setting. As years pass, more patients enter hospitals to seek quality medical care, and fewer hospital staff are available to deliver what patients expect.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that the home health industry is skyrocketing. In fact, Americans spent $103 billion on home healthcare in the year 2019 alone. The growth of the home health industry is expected to ramp up even further, meaning the demand for home health staff will only continue to rise, too. The home health career landscape is one of the fastest-growing in the country and is expected to rise by 41% by 2026. The industry will soon be looking to fill an estimated 7.8 million home health jobs to keep up with demand — but will health systems be able to meet it?
Meeting the Demand for Home Health Jobs
The prospect that 7.8 million home health positions will open up in the next six or so years seems exciting. It should present an ideal opportunity for younger generations to step into the healthcare field and provide necessary care for post-acute patients. However, it might not be that easy. While it is widely known that there are a significant nurse and physician shortage in the healthcare industry, there is a lesser-known shortage among home health staff.
The shortage of in-home health workers are due to a variety of factors, including low median pay and a shortage of qualified staff. There’s also the rising costs of home healthcare for families and seniors, which can significantly drain even a substantial nest egg. Home health staff typically have a high turnover rate, which makes it difficult for hospitals to fill shifts, maintain a high quality of patient care, and stay prepared for facility inspections. And unfortunately, a 2019 study showed that 52% of registered nurses think the shortage is only growing worse.
This shortage of hospital staff and home health workers can have severe consequences on any health system. To stay ahead of current staffing challenges like high numbers of aging patients, staff shortages, and increased demand for home health staff, it’s important to take action now. But it’s also important to be prepared for the challenges that lurk on the horizon. And while it’s difficult to know-how trends and challenges will evolve over time, it’s easy to implement changes to become prepared.
Preparing for Industry Challenges With Advanced VMS Technology
One effective way health systems can prepare for the changing home health landscape is to implement workforce technology solutions like a vendor management system (VMS). A VMS gives systems a way to efficiently manage their core employees, contingent workers, and home health staff in just one platform. Health systems can manage all types of home health staff, including registered nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, and home health aides with the help of advanced staffing technology.
VMS software gives health systems a place to store all essential information about home health workers, ensuring all patients are receiving quality care — even those based in their homes:
- Health records
- Booking dates
- Employee evaluations
- Background checks
- Pay rates
- Licensing requirements
VMS technology is just waiting to be properly utilized by health systems, emerging home health companies, and skilled nursing chains. ShiftWise’s VMS technology offers the tools and support you need to strengthen your system’s home healthcare. Contact ShiftWise today to schedule a demo and see how a VMS can bring organization to your entire health system.