Scheduling

Solutions to Medical Staffing Challenges | Healthcare Staffing Shortage

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December 17, 2021

An analysis of data from labor market data company Emsi shows that there will be a critical shortage of 3.2 million healthcare workers by 2026. The deficit is due to the increased demand for healthcare workers. Medical staffing remains a severe problem for hospitals and clinics. 

Hospitals and clinics are struggling to find qualified staff. Existing staff shortages have made this worse. As healthcare in developed countries like the U. S. improves, patients are becoming more demanding. This puts more pressure on medical teams and hospitals. 

The increasing need to have qualified healthcare workers to meet patient demands has led to healthcare staff shortages. Many hospitals have begun recruiting nurses from other countries to deal with this.

While recruiting foreign medical staff is a solution, paperwork is often lengthy and challenging. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic means the process of hiring foreign staff will be even more complicated than usual. 

Hospitals are feeling the pinch from COVID-19, which means they are under more pressure than ever to recruit medical staff. This problem has become a global issue, as many countries have begun experiencing a shortage of qualified healthcare workers. This article discusses the causes of medical staffing challenges and potential solutions. 

The Challenges of Medical Staffing

Due to the high retirement rate of baby boomers in the healthcare sector and the shortage of qualified healthcare employees, healthcare staffing will continue to face many challenges in the years to come. Some of these challenges include:

Increasing turnover rates

In the healthcare industry, retaining top talent is challenging and filled with barriers. Employee turnover affects more than just patient satisfaction. Healthcare facilities lose money and suffer a drop in morale and cohesion. 

In a report from National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing, a bedside RN's typical turnover costs are $52,100 and range from $40,300 to $64,000. As a result, hospitals lose between $4.4M and $6.9M on average. The average hospital will lose/save $328,400 for each percent change in RN turnover.

There is less time available for patient care, which leads to increased infection rates, health complications, and medication errors. 

Inadequate staffing

Medical staffing is a significant concern for hospitals. According to a study of American Hospital Association survey data, there was a 30 percent increase in nursing job vacancies between 2019 and 2020.

Medical staffing is a significant concern for hospitals. According to a study of American Hospital Association survey data, there was a 30 percent increase in nursing job vacancies between 2019 and 2020. Qualified personnel is in short supply across the board. Irrespective of the number of beds or what size, the shortage affects all hospitals.  

Employee burnout

Inevitably, burnout is one of the most significant causes of turnover. Sadly, burnout is widespread for medical staff. It results from prolonged and stressful shifts and poor healthcare staff scheduling. The result is poor performance and a lack of empathy for patients. 

The Solutions

Smaller hospitals and practices are not immune to the staffing crisis. Medical offices have difficulty recruiting and retaining staff. Consider these solutions if you face healthcare staffing challenges.

1. Improve Employee Satisfaction

HealthcareManagement.org reports that employee turnover is 30% higher in healthcare than in other sectors. Many healthcare professionals are overwhelmed by heavy workloads made more difficult by staffing problems. 

Additionally, some employees claim that tensions with co-workers and supervisors also cause turnover. Therefore, to keep your existing staff, you must evaluate what you can do to improve employee satisfaction.

See if you can adjust things like scheduling. One of the biggest challenges in healthcare organizations and private practices is scheduling. The schedules of clinicians who work shifts, such as nurses, are decided up to eight weeks in advance. After scheduling, there is not much room for adjustment. Job dissatisfaction is commonly associated with this factor. 

That's where a company like Float Care can help. Our streamlined scheduling shifts allow us to work around your nursing staff and provide them with convenient schedules. Our scheduling algorithm will enable you to use your team most efficiently.

2. Hire the Right People

To reduce turnover rate, you must hire the right people to reduce the turnover rate. When there is a struggle to fill positions, that can seem like a vicious cycle. Nevertheless, if you find people who fit into your organization or practice, you'll have less turnover down the road. 

You will be able to determine what position best suits you if you know how your team works. Afterward, you can determine if the candidate would make a good addition to the team.

3. Invest in Technology

Technology makes life easier for physicians and medical services. Many programs are available to help your patients, from scheduling to billing. These programs make it faster and easier for your team to provide a better experience for your clients. 

4. Cross-training

You can update your training procedures to address healthcare staffing challenges and utilize technology for automated training and orientation. 

Employees can benefit significantly from cross-training, for example. Staff members, like nurses, are often in specialized positions, but that does not mean they cannot receive additional training when needed.

Having several people capable of filling the position can be a lifesaver when needed. When you still need to find a replacement for an open position, having someone who can perform essential tasks can be helpful.

How do you overcome staffing challenges?

Ways to Overcome Staffing Challenges in Your Healthcare System

1. Increase workforce satisfaction.

2. Focus on value-based care.

3. Use a vendor management system (VMS) or managed service provider (MSP).

5. Develop a workforce optimization strategy.

Let the Professionals Help

Are you facing staffing challenges in your practice? Medical staffing can be particularly challenging. 

Preparing a staff schedule is already time-consuming, but when team members are not particularly pleased with the schedule, problems arise. An automated staff scheduling software like Float Care ensures your employees' schedules are developed in a way that leads to better time management. Float Care promotes shift flexibility by making it easy for staff to swap shifts.

Is one department overstaffed? Flex off staff from the schedule anytime, anywhere.

Float Care is built around the needs of healthcare workers. Many features are included that help you save time and effort and get the most out of your staff.

Contact us to learn more about how Float Care can benefit your practice.

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