RT Shortage and Building Strong Long-Term Programs with Telemedicine

Case Study

Problem: Staffing

Many communities and organizations struggle to recruit and retain respiratory therapists in the midst of high demand. Some common reasons for these shortages include lack of local clinicians, burnout resulting in staff leaving the field or inpatient setting, and the appeal of travel care options. In a recent study conducted by the AARC, 79% of surveyed respiratory therapists indicated experiencing burnout. 1

Case Background

A rural health organization lost approximately eight respiratory therapists due to unexpected circumstances, which decreased its workforce by 75%. This resulted in zero nighttime respiratory therapist coverage for their ER and inpatient units. Because of the staffing shortage, the remaining team members quickly began experiencing burnout.
The organization partnered with Beam Healthcare to work closely with their onsite RT, nurses, and providers and develop an individualized Tele-RT program. Beam was able to initiate assistance within two weeks, including designing workflow, providing staff training, and running mock drills. From nightly rounding to new admissions assessment, troubleshooting to adjusting ventilator settings, and rapid responses to emergent intubations, Tele-Respiratory Therapists quickly became an integral part of the daily routine. Tele-RT maintained a high-level of patient care and approached each patient case with a mindset of team-based care.


It’s common for organizations to experience a shortage of respiratory therapists, especially in rural communities. When respiratory therapists experience burnout, this negatively impacts the therapist, the patient, and the organization. After partnering with Beam Tele-Respiratory, this organization was able to combat unexpected staff shortages and provide specialized, local care within two weeks.

With Beam Tele-RT, facilities are now able to maintain a high level of quality care while reducing healthcare barriers and retaining patients within their ecosystem. Our services provide an increase in coverage without the hassle of recruiting or retaining. Beam Healthcare takes a comprehensive approach tailored to the needs of each hospital system, whether that’s working cohesively with an existing program or designing a new one.

Contact Beam Healthcare for more information on Tele-RT services and maximizing ROI

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