If current trends continue, the health care industry could face a shortage of primary care physicians, according to an article in Becker’s Hospital Review. However, health systems and hospitals can take steps to alleviate some of the short-term problems associated with the issue before longer-term solutions take hold.
Citing the opinions of a representative of the CSC’s Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices, the article touched on three strategies that could provide relatively quick relief. One step advocated by consultants is increased hiring of physician assistants and nurse practitioners. This would reduce the workload of primary care physicians and ease the effects of the shortage.
Second, hospitals and health systems should pay close attention to retaining the physicians currently on staff. A third move to help alleviate some of the challenges associated with a coming shortage of physicians is to improve work-flow efficiency. Increased efficiency reduces costs and improves morale, both of which play a role in recruitment and retention.
About Stephen Erixon:
With nearly 20 years of experience as a health care executive, Steve Erixon was named Most Valuable Political Action Committee Player by the American Hospital Association in 2008.