In an effort to tackle unprecedented labor shortages, many hospitals are turning toward technology — such as automated disinfection — to help keep their organizations running efficiently.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a noticeable increase in workers resigning from their jobs without taking on another role was ushered in. Now, at the top of 2023, some reports are stataing that total job numbers have rebounded to even higher than pre-pandemic levels. However, this reversal has not been universal, and one sector in particular — healthcare — still finds itself reeling from the effects of the mass exodus of workers.
Labor Shortage in Healthcare
At the top of the pandemic, more than 1.5 million healthcare jobs were lost, and the sector hasn’t benefitted from as robust of a rebound as others. As recently as January 2023, several states are still struggling to put together proper staff in their hospitals. This labor gap can not only lead to a decrease in quality of patient care, but also primes team members to work in unsafe conditions and environments.
Fortunately, healthcare providers may be able to find relief and maintain high levels of care by turning toward robotic solutions, such as automated disinfection.
A Solution for Healthcare Labor Shortage
In dealing with this staffing shortage, hospitals are utilizing technology to help keep their operations up and running smoothly. Particularly, our OhmniClean UV-C robot can provide automated disinfection that is effective, thorough, and backed by science. OhmniClean uses advanced AI technology to autonomously navigate around any space, delivering pathogen-destroying UV light to every surface in a room.
This type of automated disinfection is the perfect augmentation for any healthcare organization, but especially ones that are dealing with a staffing crunch. We’ve received reports from major hospitals that a single OhmniClean unit is able to disinfect more rooms than 2-3 FTEs are capable of in the same time frame. This allows their already-short EVS staff to turn their time and effort toward other responsibilities that may have otherwise been neglected due to a lack of hands on deck.
This optimization of your team — no matter how big or small — is a major benefit of using automated disinfection, and one that current technology is unable to provide. As one outsourced EVS company reported to us, their existing UV disinfection system put severe limitations on their staff. The heavy equipment was labor intensive and the process wasted too much of their team members’ time. By switching to automation, they were able to mitigate this issue and give valuable time back to their staff.
Safer Environments with Automated Disinfection
This unprecedented staffing shortage in healthcare has many factors, but one aspect often cited by workers who are hesitant to return is the potentially harmful environment in which they work. Understandably, after being on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 in addition to the slew of other pathogens that are ever-present in a hospital, workers want to know that their organization is doing everything it can to keep them safe. This is another area where OhmniClean can help with labor issues, as it’s been proven via third-party testing to eliminate 99.99% of harmful pathogens commonly found in hospitals.
The Future of Healthcare and Automated Disinfection
Overall, the data shows that general job numbers seem to be increasing, but healthcare may be lagging behind, with the potential for even more severe staffing issues in the future. According to some prognostications, the healthcare industry could see a shortage of more than half a billion across all areas of the industry by 2025.
By utilizing robotic technology such as automated disinfection, hospitals can weather the storm of present-day staffing shortages, as well as any future occurrences, while also providing a cleaner, safer environment to benefit team members as they re-enter the workforce, allowing them to return to providing a high level of patient care without worry.