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Back-Office Staffing Shortages: A Temporary Setback or Long-Term Issue?

Staffing shortages have been a longstanding issue for industries of all kinds, and medical offices are no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this issue, significantly damaging healthcare organizations across the country.

Many practices are struggling to find enough qualified staff to meet back-office demand, and this has led many to wonder whether the current staffing shortage is a temporary or long-lasting issue.

Let’s examine what the future state of staffing in medical offices looks like and explore the merits of Virtual Staffing–a potential solution to an increasingly difficult problem.

Dire Staffing Forecasts Indicate Shortages Are Not Going Away

As healthcare practices struggle to manage their daily operations due to staffing shortages, the impact on their productivity has been profound. For numerous medical offices, perhaps even yours, the ramifications have led to piled-up paperwork, extended wait times, compromised patient outcomes, and even a decline in quality of care.

Experts in the healthcare field anticipate that this issue will persist in the long term. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports that the United States could experience a deficit of 13,000 healthcare professionals by 2033. Industry market analytic firm Mercer projects a shortage of lower-wage healthcare workers (e.g., medical assistants, home health aides, and nursing assistants) of 3.2 million by 2025.

As a result, healthcare practices must explore innovative approaches to address their overwhelming staffing challenges. One such solution gaining traction is Virtual Staffing.

Virtual Staffing to the Rescue

Virtual staffing involves working with a service that hires and manages remote employees to perform tasks that would typically be done on-site. This kind of staffing has been used successfully in other industries, and recently services like Staffing Angels have helped healthcare practices begin to explore their potential. Virtual staffing functions similarly to virtual scribing, which has been a savior for physicians across the country due to its ability to reduce the time and costs of physician documentation. Top-level virtual staffing services have large, thoroughly trained teams in offshore, English-speaking countries and substantial infrastructure to add efficiency and flexibility to any practice while opening access to a wider and more experienced talent pool.

Virtual staffing is particularly valuable for tasks that can be completed remotely, like:

  • Prior Authorizations
  • Pre-certifications
  • Medical Coding
  • Charge Entry & Review
  • Payment Posting
  • Denials Management
  • Payer Follow-up
  • Credentialing
  • Pre-chart Prep and Uploading Patient Documents into an EHR
  • Updating Patients’ Medical History Questionnaire
  • Edit patient charts created with AI and VR software

Adapting Virtual Staffing to Your Needs

One of the primary benefits of virtual staffing for healthcare practices is that it is adaptable to your needs right now. If those needs change, so can the responsibilities of your virtual staff. It also enables practice managers who must adjust to periods of demand fluctuation to scale their staffing up or down quickly to accommodate those changes.

Virtual staffing services can provide support around the clock, which is particularly beneficial for practices that operate in different time zones than the virtual staff themselves. This allows you to optimize resources and ensure that the right people are available at the right time.

Align Your Virtual Staff with Your Current Staff and Culture

By creating a structure that encourages collaboration between virtual staff and traditional staff, you can ensure that all team members are working toward the same goal. To make Virtual Staffing work in your environment, it is important to remember that it requires a commitment from both sides. It should be seen as an extension of your organization’s mission and values, with everyone understanding their roles and responsibilities. By creating a culture of trust and collaboration, you can ensure that virtual staff members will understand and align their work to your objectives and values.

Staffing shortages are a significant challenge in healthcare, and the future of your practice may depend on adopting innovative solutions like virtual staffing that can keep pace with the rapidly evolving healthcare industry. Virtual staffing is a promising way to augment the current workforce and ensure that the practice continues to provide high-quality care in the face of staffing shortages.


Physicians Angels is the industry's first Virtual Scribe company, providing real-time documentation directly into the physician's EMR, along with our Staffing Angels back office support services. Our services save the physician an average of 10 hours per week, thereby improving patient throughput and contributing to a better work/life balance for the physician and office staff. To learn more, visit or contact us.

About the author

Physicians Angels

More time for physicians to see more patients, provide better care, and live their lives. Physicians Angels provides one-of-a-kind EMR data management services to healthcare providers through our real time Virtual Scribe service.