Short on Staff, High on Tech
The panel discussed the workforce shortage in healthcare, exacerbated by the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an estimated shortage of up to 500,000 nurses by 2025. The panel highlighted the need for technological innovation to aid this crisis, with McKinsey’s Gretchen Berlin emphasizing the potential in AI technologies. Panelist Trish Gallagher pointed out that healthcare workers are overwhelmed by the rapidity of technological change and Robert Musselwhite emphasized the need to take into account the impacts on those left in the workforce when co-workers leave. Panelists agreed on the importance of involving clinicians in the creation and implementation of new technologies to ensure they are practical and helpful in a real-world setting. They concluded that technology deployment should not add to healthcare workers' stress or workload but should make their roles easier and more efficient. Additionally, the panelists touched on maintaining a focus on human factors, recognizing the value of addressing and reducing worker burnout and improving wellness. They also argued for a need for more collaboration over competition and having standardization in evaluating and implementing new technologies.