Addressing Healthcare Labor Shortages with Pharmacy Automation

The healthcare industry in the United States is grappling with a significant labor shortage, particularly among caregivers. The American Hospital Association has forecasted that by the end of 2023, the country will witness a nursing shortage of 1.1 million, resulting from half a million nurses departing from their profession. Pharmacies within health systems are equally affected, with turnovers hitting unprecedented rates. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists reports an average turnover rate of 21% for pharmacy technicians, with some health systems seeing more than 41% of their technicians departing. The National Community Pharmacists Association revealed in 2021 that a staggering 90% of organizations could not locate pharmacy technicians to hire.

A Crisis Compounded

Several factors contribute to this crisis, such as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging work conditions, both of which can lead to burnout and further exacerbate the shortage of healthcare workers. To counteract this escalating situation, automation and technology are being proposed as viable solutions to reduce the time spent on manual tasks, hence alleviating the burden on healthcare professionals.

Omnicell’s Automation Solutions

Omnicell, a prominent player in the healthcare technology space, offers a suite of Advanced Services that amalgamate robotics, smart devices, software, and expert support to boost efficiency and enable caregivers to concentrate on higher-value tasks. The company’s Automated Dispensing Cabinets, for instance, can slash medication retrieval time by up to 54%. Meanwhile, their Central Pharmacy Dispensing Service can curtail pharmacists’ distribution tasks by 75%. Omnicell’s IV Compounding Service integrates robotics to help reduce costs and combat drug shortages, addressing labor concerns simultaneously.

The Future of Healthcare

As the demand for pharmacy technology and expert services escalates, health systems are urged to adopt comprehensive strategies that enhance medication management and overall outcomes. By harnessing the power of automation and technology, the healthcare industry can mitigate the ongoing labor shortages and improve patient care. The future of healthcare may very well hinge on the successful integration of these advanced solutions.


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