Patient safety at heart of staffing shortage

A growing shortage of healthcare workers is raising concerns about patient safety, according to a July 28 report from U.S. News & World Report.

An estimated 1.5 million healthcare jobs were lost in the first two months of COVID-19, and further complications from the pandemic continue to add pressure to an already strained system. 

The economy has helped create more new jobs; however, healthcare employment remains below pre-pandemic levels, with the number of workers down by 1.1 percent or 176,000 compared to February 2020, and the need for healthcare workers continues to grow, according to the report. 

The staffing shortage is likely to continue, as indicated by a February 2022 USA Today and Ipsos survey of more than 1,100 healthcare workers. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they would likely leave the field due to the pandemic.

In March, the American Hospital Association authored a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, calling the healthcare workforce shortage a "national emergency," Furthermore, the AHA projected the overall shortage of nurses to reach 1.1 million by the end of the year. 

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