• Pam Stoik

Top 5 Health Care Trends--#2 Staffing Shortages


Robot combing elderly woman's hair
Will robots help ease the health staffing shortage?

There was a #nursing and #PSW problem BEFORE #Covid19 hit, so it’s not surprising that two years in to Covid-19 health workers—who are exhausted, underpaid and often feeling undervalued—are leaving the care world for greener pastures in droves.


The pressure has been so great that it forced governments to FINALLY ease the red tape of internationally educated nurses which will help the shortage somewhat. It’s also putting the heat on the traditionally “old school” long-term-care and home care sectors to up their recruitment game and optimize their staffing processes.


With these realities front and centre, it’s not surprising that there are several tech players

Abstract tech screen with a glowing HR bubble at its centre
Tech can reduce hiring barriers in health and optimize staffing hours

at varying stages of maturity entering the health care worker staffing space including three Canadian companies: Caring Support, Book Jane and Caribou. Each one of these companies is unique in their offering and target market, but all take care to offer prospective staff an easy, friendly mobile-first approach to matching them with a suitable health care organization.


When I worked in home care, I’d always joke that we’d need some PSW robots. I was, however, only ever half-joking because I do think there is a place for them in the care space.


According to a random website called “Replace by Robot” (I have no idea how the algorithm was established so am not linking here) there is a 74% chance of PSW automation.


Whether it’s to perform practical lifts and transfers like the Riba Robear from Japan (officially wins for cutest robot) companionship in the form of a robotic pet like Joy for All Companion Pets or medication reminders and monitoring in the home like Pillo Health’s, an in-room/home robotic helper is at society’s doorstep! The most life-like of these is Grace from Hanson Robotics who, though a little creepy, is amazingly real…


Robots likely won't entirely replace human PSWs or nurses, but I think we're going to see more and more being used to lighten the load for both paid professional health workers and unpaid #familycaregivers sooner than imagined.


Stay tuned for trend 3 which frankly I have a HUGE vested interest in! ;) And if you need help planning for your organization's innovation journey, why not get in touch!


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