Change is the only constant in life” – this quote was originally shared by Heraclitus the Greek philosopher many centuries ago, however, the statement could not be more accurate even today. 

This is especially true in the world of healthcare since the Covid-19 pandemic entered our global society in early 2020, along with additional variants of the virus over the past 12-18 months.  The pressure the outbreak has put on healthcare professionals over the past few years has been unprecedented.  

Every area of healthcare staffing has been impacted:  physicians, nurses, administration, and so on.  The need for skilled workers has never been higher, and every hospital, clinic, and emergency room requires the added responsibility of staffing for increased demand, along with contingency planning.  

Further, healthcare leaders must also manage staffing challenges such as burnout of the workforce in parallel, while they prepare for crisis response staffing considerations.  According to a survey from Vivian, “87% of respondents shared that their hospitals or facilities are still, on average, short-staffed”, and “two-thirds (64%) of respondents feel more stressed at their job since this time last year.”   There is no doubt that the increased demand on the healthcare system is indeed taking its toll on the workforce

For every challenge, we continuously see the overall healthcare industry respond with resiliency and creativity.  A great example of perseverance is watching the impact that SouthlandMD has made across the Southeast region.  

SouthlandMD is a physician-owned and operated group that specializes in providing provider staffing and operational management including Emergency Medicine, Hospitalist Programs, Behavioral Health Services, and Outpatient Care Clinics.  They partner with hospitals and health care systems focused on providing improved patient care, while also helping to enhance the experience for their practitioners.  The model is clearly working as they’re now supporting 450 providers, and treating over 610,000 patients annually.  Their team-based approach has revolutionized the inefficiencies often experienced in Emergency Medicine by increasing patient throughput, reducing wait times, and increasing patient and staffing satisfaction.  As a result of the demand created, emergency medicine opportunities in Georgia are accelerating, and companies like SouthlandMD are well-positioned to help patients and hospitals at the same time, with the same solution.  

Another example of the healthcare industry evolving to meet demand is the rapid growth in travel nurses.  DefinitiveHC shared the following:  “In 2020, demand for travel nurses grew 35%, while locum tenens (temporary staffers) and allied health (including rehabilitation, diagnostic and disease prevention specialists) nurses saw modest staffing declines. This year, however, staffing is up across all nursing segments. Even as the healthcare market braces for post-COVID realignments, several factors are likely to keep providers concerned with nursing staffing through 2022 and beyond.”  Partnering with innovative staffing companies to improve Emergency Medicine Operations, or augmenting nursing support with travel nurses are just two of many ways that the healthcare industry is demonstrating its nimbleness and willingness to align with patients’ (and practitioner) needs. 

Covid certainly forced the healthcare industry to further adapt, and quickly.  Nonetheless, with mass-scale changes often comes innovative solutions, and more opportunities to better serve patients in the future.  As a result — we’re now seeing material growth in job requisitions, staffing opportunities, compensation, and impact, and it’s clear the resiliency of the healthcare system in the U.S. has never been stronger.