I participated in the AlaHA Leadership Forum last week, as I have done for the past several years. Although virtual, it was still a great opportunity to spend time listening to voice of our customers — leaders in Alabama’s hospitals.

As someone who has spent many years practicing the discipline of innovation, both incrementally and disruptively, I can’t help but think about how we might apply some of these tactics to the problems Alabama’s hospitals are left with as a result of the COVID19 Pandemic.

The first step in any innovation journey is trying to discern the things customers are solving for every day.  While there are many for Alabama’s hospitals, there was one thing I heard repeatedly at this meeting, “we have a staffing issue, short and long term.”

Some of the notes I captured:

  • We don’t have enough staff! In the short term, special funding is coming in to support supplemental staff, but what happens when that runs out?
  • The staff we do have is not coming from our community. They have no skin in the game.
  • We’re losing tenured nurses to “The Great Resignation” or just early retirement. Some leaving field because they don’t want to be exposed to pandemic risk.
  • Where is the pipeline of replacements and who’s going to mentor these newer physicians/nurses?

All big, long-term issues facing the sustainability of the hospitals and the communities in need of the healthcare services they provide.

It is my desire that we, as the medical malpractice and workers compensation partner for many of these entities, work with them to try to tackle this pain point. This is not a problem that will be quickly or easily resolved, but one in which all of their partners, vendors, suppliers, etc., need to work together in helping them seek long-term, viable solutions. Inspirien’s mission is to be a remarkable partner for whatever risk lies ahead. No doubt, this is a HUGE risk, and one we intend on playing a role in helping them solve. I have some ideas … let’s get to work!

Article contributed by Kathy Freyman, Chief Innovation Officer for Inspirien.