The recently released 2024 Future Health Index zeroed in on something all healthcare workers have known for some time: staffing shortages are hindering the ability to provide the best possible patient experience. 

The good news is, per the report, it seems healthcare leaders have realized that a solution may be found in the automation of repetitive administrative tasks.

Below, more key takeaways from this year’s report.

Staffing shortages are impacting mental health

In the 2023 edition of the Future Health Index report, only 18% of respondents said they were investing in AI to optimize operational efficiency, and only 21% planned to do so within the coming three years. But this year’s reports of burnout underscore the missed opportunity healthcare leaders have to help relieve their teams.

Today, workforce shortages are negatively impacting healthcare workers’ mental health. 66% of healthcare leaders report seeing deteriorating staff well-being and mental health. And 55% say they’re concerned about an increased likelihood of staff leaving, further compounding these problems.

With no end to staffing shortages in sight, these findings tell us that healthcare leaders need to consider all options for augmenting their workforces, especially automation.

Automation for repetitive tasks is ‘critical’

Healthcare leaders agree: Automation can be a solution to staffing shortages – if it’s done right. 92% of those surveyed said they believe automating repetitive tasks, as Infinitus does, is “critical for addressing staff shortages in healthcare.” And 92% of respondents also said they believe such automation will save healthcare professionals time by reducing administrative burden.

But what does it mean to do automation “right?” Incorporating AI just for the sake of saying you’re using AI – because everyone’s doing it – isn’t the right way to approach this powerful technology. But employing AI in a low-risk, high-return manner, like automating repetitive  back-office administrative tasks including benefit verification and prior authorization follow-up, can be hugely impactful.

Don’t overlook staff concerns

While the views on automation expressed in the Future Health Index were overwhelmingly positive, they weren’t entirely devoid of concern. In fact, 65% of the respondents said they believe their staff are skeptical about the use of automation. “Quality assurance stood out in particular [as a concern],” the report states, “with several leaders stressing the importance of appropriate research and validation before implementing automation.”

Such concerns are reasonable, and point to the importance of understanding how to evaluate potential AI solutions. It’s valid to be wary of committing to a vendor if staff can’t see firsthand how their solution works and whether it’s as good as it seems. And it’s equally important to seek solutions that augment healthcare staff, not those that intend to replace them. 

Take your automation strategy to the next level

Infinitus was founded with the goal of creating a “wait-less” experience for patients while creating time for busy healthcare workers. Our solutions automate time-consuming, repetitive, and necessary health data collection processes that have traditionally required manual phone calls. We’re able to do this thanks to our purpose-built AI system for healthcare, the most advanced solution on the market today.

Healthcare leaders and their teams love working with Infinitus because we operate more like a partner, and less like a vendor. Our customers have said the Infinitus AI agent, Eva, is like “the most productive member of [their] team,” as well as “an experience that’s unparalleled in the patient support industry.”

To learn more about how Infinitus can help ease administrative burden and lessen the impact of healthcare staffing shortages, speak to our team today.