It’s always been a challenge in the medical and healthcare industry when it comes to staffing. It’s not just the recruitment but also the retention as well, especially in the last few years when there have been a lot of healthcare reforms including accountable and value-based care.
These changes have urged hospitals and clinics to create new roles such as clinical pharmacists and care coordinators so there will be people solely focused on managing medically complex patients. In this ever growing demand for staffing, here are three of the top challenges many organizations face and some ideas on how to solve them:
Problem: A need for primary care and emergency department physicians.
The medical industry has been shifting to outpatient services, hospitals now need to add medical staffs focused on primary care. In addition, newly insured patients often don’t have a regular physician, so health reform makes this shortage of physicians really come up the surface.
Solution: Get more physicians and more mid-level staff.
Many hospitals nowadays have switched, or are switching, to an employment model for the specialties they need. What they do is employ physicians full-time or even buy physician practices. Some hospitals would also do better if they consider hiring more of the mid-level staffs such as nurse practitioners and certified anesthetists. This method would be a lower-cost alternative to keeping the place moving when there is a lack of physicians present.
Problem: Lack of leadership.
There’s a lack of physician leadership nowadays, especially when hospitals are just starting to diversify into new care models. Experts, however, say the market for physician leaders is very competitive.
Solution: Develop leaders from the people you already have.
Many medical organizations would do well when they develop leaders internally. Grooming the people they already have into potential leaders for one major reason: the hospital is already familiar with the affiliated physicians. This allows them to develop leaders more quickly and more effectively in comparison to getting from the outside.
Problem: Lack of health IT personnel and ancillary providers.
During this period, hospitals need more nurses, personal care aides, and home health staff. Unfortunately, these positions have the greatest shortages.
Solution: Boost morale and reduce staffing needs using IT more creatively.
The medical IT world is a blend of both technology and healthcare, which unfortunately lacks people. Sometimes you have to be slightly more creative in reducing staffing needs. On one hand, self-registration kiosks, remote monitoring technology, voice recognition equipment, and other highly advanced technology can often take the place of some employees. On the other hand, this allows organizations to use staff elsewhere instead. In addition, some predictive modelling software can help determine and plot staff scheduling needs. This helps hospitals properly reassign employees to other duties before problems even arise.