One of the health care industry’s most pressing challenges is the workforce crisis, a concern that has only intensified with the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a recent survey by the American College of Healthcare Executives, hospital CEOs rank personnel shortages as their number one concern – above financial challenges, regulatory mandates and access issues. The U.S. could see a deficit of up to 450,000 registered nurses by 2025, and we expect to face a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034. And it’s not just doctors and nurses. This shortage extends to other vital roles in health care, including medical assistants, home health aides, nursing assistants and pharmacy technicians.
No matter how much we invest in bonuses, temporary wage increases, professional education, and mental health benefits to attract and retain these employees, demographic shifts mean there will certainly be a significant strain on personnel resources in the years to come. Luckily, digital health technologies are accelerating rapidly to support healthcare delivery. These innovations will never fully take the place of human healthcare workers. But, using them to supplement and replace the day-to-day tasks of clinicians and support staff could produce benefits on many levels – to the provider, the patient and the health system as a whole.
At Caduceus Capital Partners, we seek to invest in companies with capable management teams, responsible valuations, and a real-world potential to succeed. We’re proud to count several workforce support solutions as part of our portfolio:
- ScriptDrop is a technology platform that connects patients, pharmacies and couriers for a seamless experience. The company’s technology allows pharmacies to electronically request prescription delivery on behalf of their patients. ScriptDrop then engages a nationwide courier network to take prescriptions from the pharmacy counter to the patient’s doorstep. This allows providers to focus on patient care and significantly increases medication adherence.
“The key to our success is bringing value to both the patient and the healthcare professional. Our process saves pharmacy techs up to 13 clicks, simplifying their work while offering a service that patients enjoy,” said Amanda Epp, CEO of ScriptDrop.
- EvidenceCare was founded by a physician searching for a better way to use technology to make patient care decisions. With the help of his team, Dr. Fengler designed a clinical decision support tool that would equip every type of clinician with the tools, evidence, and research they need to make safe and accurate decisions for each individual patient. Today, EvidenceCare offers a suite of products, giving providers an evidence-based clinical decision support system integrated into the EHR. Their products optimize clinical workflows to deliver better patient care.
“Physicians are in the driver’s seat. With EvidenceCare technology, you have us driving the car more safely, more efficiently, into greener zones for the administration and the patients. We want to make people better and we’re trained to make people better. With these tools, we can deliver happy patients and a happy bottom line.” – Dr. George Fidone
- The workforce shortage is not limited those providing direct patient care. A recent McKinsey & Company study showed that $180 billion could be saved in healthcare administration and finance costs with automated technology. With Janus Health, managers and executives receive actionable insights into people, productivity and practices, allowing them to optimally allocate and manage resources.
“Several factors, including labor shortages, shrinking reimbursements and more stable IT environments, are creating a ripe opportunity to transform the revenue cycle with artificial intelligence and automation,” said Brendan Downing, co-founder and CEO of Janus Health. “Janus Health offers a timely service that can have a significant impact for health systems struggling with these rising costs-to-collect and reimbursement challenges.”
In healthcare delivery, there are many ways that digital health could markedly improve operations and performance. At Caduceus Capital Partners, we employ our investment methodology based on 30+ years of healthcare consulting experience to reveal compelling value propositions for our portfolio companies and elevate them to the market. Visit www.caduceus.vc to learn more about our fund thesis.
Scott Kolesar is managing partner at Caduceus Capital Partners. He brings 35 years of experience in creating, operating, building, and investing in innovative digital health companies. He has a history of creating value as a Fortune 50 senior health industry executive, as a partner of the industry’s most prestigious consulting firms, and as a board director. Click here to read his full bio