Current Issues in the Health Workforce

Adequate access to care is characterized by the ability to obtain necessary, affordable, convenient, appropriate, and effective health care services in a timely manner. To improve access to care, policymakers and providers are working toward several specific health care delivery system goals, referred to as the quintuple aim.1,2 These overarching goals include:

1. Improving patient experience
2. Improving health outcomes
3. Reducing the cost of health care
4. Improving clinician well-being
5. Improving health equity

The health workforce is interwoven throughout the quintuple aim, playing a critical role in efforts to achieve each goal. Several health workforce-related issues stand in the way of achieving those goals. These issues include worker shortages and maldistribution, the education and training of new health care workers, recruitment and retention of workers, lack of diversity in the workforce, inadequate information regarding the health workforce, and inaccurate projections of future supply and demand for health care workers.

Click on the links below to learn about efforts to address these current health workforce issues:

1. Nundy S, Cooper LA, Mate KS. The quintuple aim for health care improvement: A new imperative to advance health equity. JAMA. 2022;327(6):521-522. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.25181

2. Itchhaporia D. The evolution of the quintuple Aim: Health equity, health outcomes, and the economy. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021;78(22):2262-2264. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2021.10.018