Addressing Healthcare Staffing Shortages and Improving Productivity through Technology and Outsourcing

By Eric McGuire & Emily Bonham

September 19, 2023

The healthcare industry has been grappling with staffing shortages for many years. With the COVID-19 pandemic and “the great resignation,” the issue has only intensified. To address these challenges and improve productivity, healthcare organizations must invest in intelligent automation focused on reducing laborious tasks and consider outsourcing solutions.

Implementing AI-based automation platforms can significantly alleviate staffing shortages. For example, computer-assisted coding (CAC) products can enhance productivity for coding teams by up to 40%. Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can enable internal resources to be deployed more efficiently and alleviate staff burnout. As organizations become more comfortable and proficient using these tools, they not only enhance productivity but can also boost morale among employees by providing user-friendly systems and tangible performance improvements.

Outsourcing is a viable option for healthcare organizations struggling to find and retain qualified coders, billers, and collection specialists. There are pools of skilled talent available across various geographical locations, including coders in India and clinicians in the Philippines. Healthcare organizations can find the right skills and capabilities to mitigate staffing challenges by tapping into these global resources. However, it is essential to partner with reputable organizations that prioritize quality and conduct internal audits to ensure the desired outcomes are met. Additionally, appreciating and taking care of employees fosters retention and increased productivity. In a competitive job market, organizations need to continuously focus on recognizing the value of their workforce and invest in their staff. They can take steps to improve outcomes through a holistic approach focused on identifying gaps in processes, investing in the right technology, and leveraging consulting firms or offshore providers.

Strong connection exists between an organization's ability to retain employees and increase productivity. By leveraging automation and technology, healthcare organizations can help alleviate repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on more rewarding responsibilities that provide opportunities for growth and development. Additionally, prioritizing employee satisfaction, work-life balance, and creating a positive work culture are critical factors in employee retention.

Proactive measures must be taken to address staffing shortages and ensure long-term success. Hospitals and health systems that invest in their people, technology, and processes can enhance productivity and look to augment their workforce through outsourcing. To optimize outcomes, healthcare organizations must have a comprehensive plan, align technology with their goals, involve key stakeholders, and bridge gaps in processes. By embracing innovation and prioritizing employee satisfaction, it is possible to navigate staffing shortages and improve productivity.

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Eric McGuire

Eric McGuire, CRCR, PgMP, PMP, LSSGB


Eric is a seasoned HIM and revenue cycle professional with more than two decades of experience in helping healthcare organizations bridge the gap between healthcare IT and business operations. As the senior vice president of coding and CDI services, he leads the development of service line strategy and execution. Eric’s leadership and consultancy has helped numerous customers transform their revenue cycle outcomes through enhanced patient experience, revenue growth, risk mitigation, and cost containment. Eric possesses a bachelor’s degree in Macroeconomics from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.

emily bonham

Emily Bonham


Emily Bonham is a leading innovative healthcare technology product manager with over 20 years of experience building award-winning products from the ground up. She’s turned around underperforming products and helped organizations quickly scale. Bonham holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota.