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Top 3 Critical Issues for Healthcare Leaders in 2024 and How Innovative Technology Helps

Rhoena Endaya Jun 21, 2024 12:38:35 PM
Top 3 Critical Issues for Healthcare Leaders in 2024 and How Innovative Technology Helps

In 2024, healthcare leaders are grappling with challenges that threaten the stability and effectiveness of medical institutions across the globe. Labor shortages, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have led to a critical deficit in healthcare professionals, with burnout and administrative burdens driving many out of the field. Rising healthcare costs, fueled by inflation, staffing shortages, and an aging population, are straining budgets and resources. Additionally, the urgency of adopting sustainable practices to reduce the carbon footprint of healthcare systems is becoming increasingly clear. However, technology presents a beacon of hope. By leveraging advancements in artificial intelligence, electronic health records, and virtual care solutions, the healthcare industry can navigate these challenges, improving efficiency, patient care, and sustainability. This blog delves into the top three issues facing healthcare leaders in 2024 and explores how technology can offer viable solutions.


Labor Shortages


The COVID-19 pandemic led to the departure of over 5 million healthcare professionals. The healthcare institutions in the United States have already anticipated a shortage of workers in the medical field, however, unforeseen events during the pandemic have exacerbated the situation. By 2026, as millions more are expected to leave the healthcare field, an estimated national health worker deficit of more than 4 million[1] is expected.

Burnout is the primary reason for healthcare workers leaving their jobs, compounded by issues like inadequate pay, limited interaction time with the patients, and excessive amount of administrative work. It is estimated that clinicians in the United States spend two-thirds of their time on documentation and administrative tasks[1].

To combat this, healthcare software companies such as Epic, one of the largest Electronic Health Record (EHR) providers in the US, are forming partnerships with tech giants like Microsoft[2]. The partnership aims to leverage artificial intelligence to streamline healthcare workflows and reduce documentation burdens. Gradual adoption of such technologies can be seen across the industry. For instance, Emory Healthcare now uses ambient AI to help physicians see more patients and spend less time on clinical notes[3].


Rising Healthcare Costs


Multiple factors affect the rising cost of healthcare. Firstly, inflation has driven up costs across the supply chain: drugs, consumables, and other materials. Secondly, the growing issue of worker shortages increased the hospitals’ reliance on contract staffing firms. These firms often increase their prices in response to a surge in demand. In fact, between 2019 and 2022, the use of contractors has more than doubled and contractor labor costs increased by 258% during the same period[1]. Lastly, a longer lifespan has increased our aging population, thereby increasing the cost of long-term care and chronic disease management.

How can technology help with the rising costs? Research suggests that clinicians’ productivity remains below pre-pandemic levels[1]. Leaders in the healthcare industry are prioritizing the integration of technology that promises to streamline processes and increase operational efficiencies. Meditech, another major EHR provider in the United States, has formed a collaborative partnership with Google that aims to improve clinicians’ efficiency through summarization capabilities and leveraging generative AI to automatically generate clinical documentation[4]

Virtual assistants and chatbots are other forms of technology that can help alleviate the administrative burdens on our clinicians and allow them to focus on the patients. These technologies can assist clinicians by providing advice on treatments, diagnoses, and medication[5]. They also can help patients by answering care-related questions and providing information to allow them to make informed decisions. These tools are also valuable in enabling patients to book appointments with their providers, and can even extend to providing companionship to patients who live alone or in remote areas. 

To address the costs associated with the care of the elderly population, healthcare institutions can leverage virtual wards and other forms of remote care. As the aging population grows, these solutions allow the elderly to stay in their own homes longer, thereby reducing the need for hospital stays, hospices, and nursing homes.




Healthcare systems are actively adopting strategies to reduce their carbon footprint. This includes the use of resource-efficient technologies and smart digital solutions, or adopting science-based targets for emissions reduction, which is mandatory for all $ 1 billion-plus companies in California by 2025[6]

Virtual visits are one mode of providing patient care sustainably. It saves time, offers convenience to both the patients and the provider, and reduces carbon footprints. Henry Ford Health saved over 126,000 miles of patient travel and 4,000 hours of travel time through a virtual visit program[3].

Another example of sustainable innovation is the continued adoption of radiology operations command centers[6]. This model allows experts to provide virtual support to colleagues at remote sites while the patient is on the scanner table. A similar approach applies to other fields of specialization where the expertise and knowledge of experienced healthcare practitioners can extend their reach through virtual and real-time collaboration whether in a hospital, clinic, or a remote office, making them accessible and more widely available.



In 2024, the healthcare sector faces several challenges, including labor shortages, rising costs, and sustainability issues. Technology offers promising opportunities to alleviate these problems: leveraging advancements in artificial intelligence and offering virtual modes of care are some of the ways that can improve efficiency and enhance patient care while reducing costs. As healthcare leaders continue to innovate and adapt, the integration of these technological solutions will be crucial in navigating the complexities of modern healthcare.


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[1] Siegel, Sara. 2024 Global Health Care Sector Outlook. Deloitte. 2024.
[2] Boyd, Eric, Microsoft and Epic expand AI collaboration to accelerate generative AI’s impact in healthcare, addressing the industry’s most pressing needs. Microsoft. 2023.
[3] Epic.Thousands of Health IT Experts Convene in Wisconsin to Address Global Healthcare Challenges. 2024.
[4] Siwicki, Bill. Meditech and Google Health to collaborate on clinical search in Expanse EHR. Healthcare IT News. 2022.
[5] Marr, Bernard. The 10 Biggest Trends Revolutionizing Healthcare in 2024. Forbes. 2023.
[6] Philips. 10 Healthcare Technology Trends for 2024. 2023.