Understanding Top Trends in the Allied Industry and Their Impact on Staffing

Healthcare is an evolving field, as changes arise to keep pace with new patient needs, situational requirements, and regulatory demands. The allied health field has undoubtedly seen some changes in the past four to five years, some of which point to shifts in direction for the industry. Let’s review the top shifts and trends in allied healthcare, and discuss their implications for staffing.

Top Trends in Allied Healthcare

The allied health segment, like other areas of healthcare, has seen an array of changes since 2019, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most noticeable and widely discussed effects is the labor shortage, as healthcare workers across the board left the profession as the pandemic brought the stresses of their work conditions to a critical point. The need for talent to fill new and vacated healthcare positions is ongoing, too, with a 2023 study in the Journal of Internal Medicine showing overall burnout rates near 50% and over 54% for allied staff.1

Not all allied health trends are pessimistic, however, as the industry is also seeing many upgrades in infrastructure, technology, and earning potential. Namely, the rise of telehealth and hybrid care is expanding healthcare accessibility, administrative efficiency is improving through automation, innovations are continually modernizing care delivery, and — in response to the labor shortage — many healthcare workers are seeing their wages increase considerably.

What Trends in Allied Health Mean to Staffing

The top trends in allied health present challenges and opportunities for staffing. Below, we look at the major effects that the industry can expect from the labor shortage, tech developments, and other patterns of change that are undergoing:

A Reliance on Contract Labor

With staffing shortages expected to continue, many healthcare organizations have turned to contract labor to fill vacancies as quickly as possible. Some analysts believe the demand for healthcare contract labor will decrease compared to previous years. However, the demand is still expected to be 60% above pre-pandemic levels.2 

The Potential for Increased Retention

The continuing rise of telehealth and hybrid care could be part of the solution to the labor shortage. The flexibility and convenience of remote health solutions help clinicians, allied and otherwise, to achieve better work-life balance, mental health, and emotional well-being by increasing their time spent away from the stressors common to clinical settings. While it’s impossible to shift allied healthcare entirely to a remote delivery system, having the option to work remotely and the trend of rising wages can mitigate some of the issues that lead to burnout.

An Increased Need for Upskilling

With tech innovations influencing how healthcare is delivered and administratively handled, allied health employers may notice skills gaps in their existing staff for using new tools and software to their utmost potential. Particularly with novel solutions such as artificial intelligence, a technology that many existing healthcare workers aren’t adept with, training may be necessary to bring competencies up to a level that allows for effective integration and use. Alternatively, healthcare organizations may focus their recruiting efforts on talent that already excels with the new technologies entering the industry.

An increasing number of allied health employers may consider turning to a staffing partnership to help them fill the vacancies and skills gaps in their organizations. At Medix, with our extensive experience in the allied health sector, we’re tuned into the developments in the industry and understand what it takes to keep up with operational trends. Reach out to discover how we can help your organization thrive amid change.

  1. Lisa S. Rotenstein, Roger Brown, Christine Sinsky, and Mark Linzer, “The Association of Work Overload With Burnout and Intent To Leave the Job Across the Healthcare Workforce During COVID-19,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, March 23, 2023. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-023-08153-z.
  2. Hailey Mensik, “Healthcare Labor Trends in 2023: Increased Burnout, Executive Stress,” Healthcare Dive, January 30, 2023. https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/healthcare-labor-trends-2023/641352.
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