Quick Apply GHR Live!

Trends and Demand for Allied Health Professionals: The Role of Staffing Agencies

May 2, 2024

Allied health specialists offer a broad spectrum of care, influencing every facet of a patient's healthcare experience. Whether it's respiratory therapists ensuring clear airways or medical imaging technologists capturing vital diagnostic images, allied health professionals are indispensable in delivering top-notch care.


The current healthcare environment faces a significant challenge: a lack of qualified allied health professionals. With demand for their services at its peak, partnering with an allied health staffing agency is not just strategic – it's essential.


The Increasing Demand for Allied Health Staff

Millions of us rely on allied health professionals for a wide range of services, including pharmacy technicians who dispense medications under the supervision of pharmacists, medical laboratory technicians who process blood and tissue samples to aid in diagnosis, radiologic technologists who conduct x-ray and imaging procedures, and surgical technologists who assist surgeons in the operating room. From managing chronic conditions to providing diagnostic images and lab results, administering and consulting on medications in the pharmacy, and helping us achieve nutritional goals with dietitians, these skilled individuals are essential for quality healthcare.


This demand is only expected to grow. With an aging population – an estimated 82 million people who will be 65 and older by 2050 – the need for these professionals will only grow, with the average demand for allied health professionals to increase between 19%-22% by 2030 alone.


Furthermore, by the 2030s, the United States could face a shortage of 124,000 physicians and 200,000 nurses. Allied health professionals can help fill that gap by providing essential care between doctor visits and assisting with preventative measures, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.


The importance of early intervention cannot be overstated. Studies show that timely interventions by allied health professionals can significantly prevent chronic diseases, a major contributor to healthcare spending in the US at 75%. This not only reduces the need for expensive specialist care or emergency room visits but also eases the burden on the entire healthcare system.


Prevention is another key area where allied health professionals shine. They go beyond managing existing conditions by educating patients on crucial preventative measures. This includes dietitians and nutrition technicians guiding people toward healthy eating habits, physical therapists teaching injury prevention techniques, and speech-language pathologists supporting speech development. This proactive approach keeps people healthier, reducing overall healthcare costs and easing the burden on the entire system.

The Role of Allied Health Staffing Services

Finding qualified allied health professionals can be challenging due to high demand and a limited talent pool – especially in a landscape where 85% of healthcare facilities are reporting allied health staffing shortages. This demand extends to a wide range of allied health roles, including pharmacy technicians, medical laboratory technicians, physical and occupational therapists, surgical technologists, 


This is where allied health staffing services come in.


Easing the Burden

Staffing services help healthcare facilities recruit qualified candidates for various roles in hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. They manage the recruitment process, including vetting candidates' credentials, qualifications, and experience. As Amanda J., a staffing director, says:

We use GHR for all of our short-term therapy positions. They are always responsive, and I know I can depend on them to get us a qualified person quickly. I highly recommend them."


Addressing Diversity

Healthcare organizations are increasingly focused on creating a diverse workforce. Staffing services can help address the underrepresentation of minorities in allied health professions by expanding the candidate pool. For example, fewer than 5% of physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and occupational therapists are black. When it takes even longer to find diverse candidates from underrepresented backgrounds, it becomes more important than ever to turn to staffing agencies with access to a large, diverse talent network.


Flexibility and Efficiency

Staffing agencies offer flexibility by providing temporary or permanent staff based on your needs. This is especially helpful when you need to fill short-term gaps or unexpected staffing needs. As attested by Gerald B., a pharmacist:

When faced with an unforeseen requirement, GHR swiftly provided us with a Pharm Tech to bridge the gap at the eleventh hour. They truly came through for us in a bind. Now, they stand as my sole choice of agency."


Trends and Innovations Impacting Allied Health

The healthcare industry is constantly innovating, and allied health is at the forefront of many exciting advancements. Here's a closer look at some key trends shaping the future of allied health:


Telehealth Transformation

Telehealth platforms are revolutionizing healthcare delivery, offering allied health professionals a prime opportunity to excel in this evolving landscape. Speech therapists can now perform virtual consultations to evaluate communication abilities, while physical therapists can remotely lead patients through exercise routines via videoconferencing. 


By leveraging telehealth, allied health professionals extend their reach beyond geographical constraints, catering to patients in underserved regions or with mobility limitations. This broader talent pool translates to increased access to high-quality care for patients nationwide.


Travel Healthcare on the Rise

The popularity of travel healthcare roles is on the rise, offering both healthcare organizations and allied health professionals greater flexibility. Travel therapists, for instance, can work short-term contracts in different locations, gaining valuable experience and exploring new regions. Healthcare facilities benefit from readily available, qualified temporary staff to address staffing gaps or manage seasonal spikes in patient volume. Travel healthcare fosters a dynamic work environment for allied health professionals and ensures continuity of care for patients in busy healthcare settings.


Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

The allied health sector is actively working to dismantle barriers that prevent underrepresented minorities from entering the profession — especially with the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act signed into law at the end of 2023. Educational institutions are partnering with healthcare organizations to create scholarship programs and mentorship opportunities for diverse students. This not only enriches the talent pool but also cultivates a more inclusive healthcare environment that better reflects the communities it serves. Increased diversity in allied health professions can lead to improved patient communication, cultural sensitivity, and ultimately, better health outcomes.


Expanding Scope of Practice

The scope of practice for some allied health professions is evolving, allowing them to take on new responsibilities. For example, some pharmacists can now administer vaccinations and perform medication reconciliation, freeing up physician time for more complex medical consultations. This shift empowers allied health professionals to utilize their expanded skillsets, streamline patient care processes, and improve overall healthcare efficiency.

How Allied Health Staffing Solutions Benefit Your Organization

Partnering with an allied health staffing agency grants you access to an extensive pool of skilled candidates. These agencies handle many logistical aspects that often hinder healthcare providers from promptly filling positions. The agency is the one that checks credentials, ensuring that each candidate has the required qualifications and experience – they interview candidates to get a sense of who they are and what they can offer. From credential verification to conducting interviews to assess candidates' suitability and capabilities, the agency efficiently manages these tasks, ensuring that each candidate possesses the necessary qualifications and experience.


Time and Cost Savings

Staffing agencies reduce the time and money spent on recruiting and interviewing candidates. This is especially beneficial given the rising costs associated with hiring healthcare professionals. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that the cost to hire a new employee can be as high as $4,129. Staffing agencies can significantly reduce these expenses. Additionally, 78% of healthcare decision-makers report spending an increasing amount of time recruiting professionals. Staffing agencies can free up valuable time for these healthcare professionals.


Improved Patient Care

Swiftly addressing staffing gaps is paramount for ensuring consistent and exemplary patient care. The healthcare industry is prone to worker shortages, and these shortages can mean uneven medical care and depriving patients of the quality help they deserve. But by being able to fill in gaps in your organization with temporary employees, you can improve care. Maintaining an optimal staff-to-patient ratio not only improves patient care but also fosters greater job satisfaction among your permanent team members. When there are shortages, your team has to take on more work, which can quickly lead to burnout, affecting 46% of people in the healthcare industry right now.



Partnering with an allied health staffing agency empowers healthcare organizations to overcome staffing challenges and ensure seamless patient care. By tapping into a wider pool of qualified candidates, these agencies expedite the recruitment process, reduce administrative burdens, and offer valuable flexibility in filling both temporary and permanent positions. Ultimately, this results in enhanced patient outcomes, heightened job satisfaction among existing staff, and a more robust healthcare system for all.


This collaborative approach, centered around the expertise of allied health professionals, paves the way for a future where high-quality care is both accessible and efficient. By recognizing the invaluable role of these unsung heroes, we can ensure a healthcare system that thrives on collaboration, innovation, and exemplary patient care.


GHR Healthcare is your trusted partner in allied health staffing. 

Learn More

Subscribe to GHR's Blog Newsletter

Your submission was successful.

Thank you for subscribing — we'll be in touch!