In order to avoid or at least mitigate the effects of a staffing shortage in healthcare, medical practices should implement several strategies. Some of these strategies include educating clinical and non-clinical workers, blocking schedules for advanced practice providers, and using the National Guard as a temporary resource.
Others may require additional expenses such as temporary relocation or overtime pay. These measures should be adapted to fit the needs of the practice.
Table of contents
Educating clinical and non-clinical workers
The need for trained non-clinical health workers is a major problem facing the healthcare industry. Non-clinical workers can provide important assistance to patients with daily needs, such as buying healthy food or finding transportation.
The value-based payment model emphasizes patient wellness, and organizations recognize the need for non-clinical workers to help patients understand the social determinants of health. These workers can also help patients improve their wellness by connecting them with resources. Wellness is an old term that is gaining traction in medical circles today. Click here to learn more.
Healthcare workers have specialized training and qualifications, and employers cannot simply hire new staff from the street. Over the years, different solutions have been used to address this problem.
Increasing patient volume and an aging population has compounded the problem of staffing shortages in healthcare. The aging population, particularly the Baby Boomer generation, requires more medical attention than ever.
Organizations should explore innovative approaches and implement new technology to recruit and retain staff. They should also develop policies to support and encourage remote work.
Hospitals should explore new communication platforms to engage and support team members. Despite these challenges, organizations should not wait for healthcare professionals to become educated and trained. They must actively recruit and retain talented people and create robust training programs to prepare future health care workers.
Staffing shortages in healthcare are a common problem, but the good news is that there are solutions. Click the link for more information about staffing shortages. Employers can promote the value of all workers in an organization by promoting their professional purpose and empowering them with information about their importance in the health care system. Communication campaigns and shared learning can also promote a sense of pride and ownership in the work that they do.
A report warns that the number of people working in the healthcare sector is in decline. As many as 15 million are needed by 2030. Technology will be a large part of the solution to this issue.
Staffing shortages are particularly acute in remote areas. Telehealth solutions have long been a way to reach out to patients who are far away, but thanks to cheaper equipment and better connectivity, this technology is growing.
During recent times of healthcare shortages, hospitals have adapted by leveraging workforce management tools to respond to unexpected fluctuations. One example is the Advocate Aurora Health system, a 26-hospital system in the Midwest.
The system implemented workforce management software to respond to COVID-19 fluctuations and create a virtual labor pool. Nurse leaders could request additional staff at any time, allowing the hospital to better plan for unexpected needs.
Regardless of the reason, these shortages have had a huge impact on hospitals and healthcare workers across the country. As a result, the health care workforce has been overstretched and stressed, which leads to the worst possible patient outcomes.
Furthermore, staffing shortages result in empty hospital beds, which results in delays in treatment. With these delays, health care workers are at risk for burnout.
Telehealth has the potential to ease the burden on existing staff. This technology improves workflow and eliminates long office wait times for patients and physicians.
Telehealth can also reduce staff burnout rates. While fewer people are being hospitalized for severe cases of COVID-19, more patients are presenting with severe ailments that require in-person care. However, in these situations, technology can play a huge role in decreasing employee turnover.
To effectively address the challenge of increasing the number of employees working in the healthcare system, nurses must use the latest technologies. They should be empowered to use technology to solve their problems and to provide the best care possible. This will also enable nurses to work in teams with other health care providers.
The right technology will allow teams to share data seamlessly, enabling them to provide the best patient care. The use of technology can also improve the patient experience and satisfaction rates.
Blocking schedules for advanced practice providers
Companies have had to get creative in the light of recent shortages. Many practices have responded to the recent healthcare staffing shortage by block scheduling advanced practice providers to assist with phone triage and other functions. Other practices have limited walk-in hours or certain types of appointments to certain days.
Some have suspended flu vaccine clinics and elective procedures. Others have reorganized their organizational culture, allowing more staff to work in fewer locations. These practices are following the best practices for staffing in times of shortage, and have successfully recovered from staffing shortages in healthcare.