Staffing shortages became the top concern for hospital CEOs in 2021, overtaking financial challenges, according to an annual survey from the American College of Healthcare Executives.
It is the first time since 2004 that financial challenges fell out of the top spot.
Two years into the COVID pandemic, the study found that health systems are grappling with widespread burnout and turnover. One-quarter of U.S. hospitals reporting their data to HHS said they faced critical staffing shortages in January, according to reports.
“Both long- and short-term solutions are needed to address the shortages in critical front-line staff shown in our study to ensure hospitals have workforces that can meet the demands for safe, high-quality care both today and in the future,” ACHE president Deborah Bowen said in a statement.
Survey respondents listed concerns around personnel shortages, with the availability of registered nurses ranking as the top issue.
When it comes to financial issues, hospital CEOs reported most concern about increasing costs for staff and supplies. Reducing operating expenses and Medicaid reimbursement, including the fairness and timeliness of payouts, were the next most pressing concerns.
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