With a population that is getting older, living longer, with an increasing number of chronic and lifestyle diseases, it has been clear for quite some time now that current practices for care will not suffice in the future.
The pressing situation is clear from new estimates produced by St. Olavs Hospital. They state that if they are to be able to provide the same care as today, the number of hospital beds will have to be increased by 45% within 2035 (St. Olav Hospital 2018)
. They also estimate that 35% of all students graduating high school in 2035 will have to go into healthcare related jobs.
We keep hearing stories about how caregivers are not able to spend time with patients due to their hectic and stressful work environments. Nurses report that they feel pressured to increase their productivity and while also experiencing increased administrative workloads (Kieft et al. 2014)
St. Olavs estimate that 35% of all students graduating high school in 2035 will have to go into healthcare related jobs.
To make matters worse, Norway currently has a shortage of about 5900 nurses, this is an increase of 47% compared to 2017 when the number closer to 4000 (NSF 2018)
. This shortage is not an unforeseen surprise, it has been predicted and warned about for quite some time now. Yet, here we are. An insufficient nursing staff could have dire consequences, potential medication errors, increased numbers of infections and, in general, patients not receiving the care they require.
There are no simple solutions to this crisis. We have a vicious cycle where the current shortage is making the working condition worse for nurses, in turn making it harder to attract new nursing students. Current trends suggest that Norway will have a shortage of 30.000 nurses in 2035 (NSF 2018)
. So, on one hand, we have St. Olav Hospital estimating that they will require a drastic increase in the number of healthcare staff, and on the other, we have data pointing to a future with an extreme shortage.
We do not know how to solve this whole crisis. We're hoping to make a difference by creating powerful tools for nurses and doctors. By making and implementing our products in a thoughtful manner, we aim to make an impactful improvement to patient safety and the daily lives of healthcare personnel.