During a run last night in San Francisco, I listened to a recent Wall Street Journal podcast, “To Solve Labor Shortage, Companies Turn to Automation.”
I learned that while employers are eager to hire more workers, the labor force itself has shrunken. In fact, the labor force participation rate is the smallest it’s been in 40 years.
Furthermore, economists expected 500,000 new jobs to be created in the U.S. in September. The actual number, however, was only 194,000. That’s only 38.8% of what was forecast.
With so fewer people searching for jobs, especially in healthcare (we’ll get to that shortly), employers are struggling to find ways to achieve more with less (headcount).
Why are Millions of Americans Staying out of the Workforce?
First, let’s look at why millions of Americans are continuing to stay out of the workforce even as we emerge from the pandemic:
- Childcare. It’s expensive and many households are opting for one parent to stay home and take care of the kids.
- Fear. Many people are afraid of the risk of getting sick with COVID by going back to work.
- Early retirement. Rather than re-enter the workforce, many Baby boomers are opting to retire early.
Job Shortages are even Worse in Healthcare
Even before the pandemic, we knew the healthcare industry workforce was growing at double-digit rates.
During the pandemic, however, demand for healthcare labor skyrocketed as droves of temp workers were needed to meet demand (people showing up at hospitals sick with COVID). Now many of those temp workers are in demand elsewhere.
Exacerbating this trend: Of those that choose to stay home to care for their children, the majority of them are women. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 76% of healthcare workers are women.
The math is simple: Any industry dominated by women is now even more understaffed than industries dominated by men.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is Growing Fast
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a type of workflow automation that uses software robots to ease routine office work.
According to Gartner, the RPA market is expected to grow by double digits through 2024. Gartner also predicts global revenue in the sector will reach $1.89 billion this year, up nearly 20% from last year.
Healthcare Organizations must choose RPA Vendors carefully
It’s precisely this type of workflow automation that allows healthcare organizations to do more with reduced headcount.
Ideally, these organizations want to work with vendors whose solutions are HITRUST CSF certified.
See Related: Is UiPath HIPAA compliant?
Healthcare Workflow Automation via HIPAA Compliant Email
I’m pleased to say our solutions at Paubox are HITRUST CSF Certified:
In addition, we’ve already seen with HIPAA compliant voicemail transcription that it’s possible to securely use email for workflow automation.
We are currently working with our customers to deploy more workflow automation robots using Email AI.
We are certainly looking forward to providing them with even greater value in these uncertain times.
See Also: Email AI: an evolving guide