Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic affected almost every aspect of our lives. Above all, it represented a monumental challenge for the healthcare industry, especially for its overwhelmed staff. Hence, the recovery of such an industry passes through the following the best practices for handling healthcare staffing issues.
In this article, we will present to you the best practices you can apply for handling healthcare staffing issues. Here, you will learn what healthcare staffing is, the issues it is facing, and how you can handle them. To give you all of this, we will talk about the following:
- What is healthcare staffing
- Which are the issues healthcare staffing is facing today?
- How can you handle these healthcare staffing issues?
- Where can you find more information about healthcare staffing?
1. What is healthcare staffing?
Basically, every person you have ever known has had to deal with healthcare at some point. In cases in which its demand increases rapidly, as with a pandemic, it becomes an even more essential service. Furthermore, it is a service where the more important part is its staff.
Healthcare staffing involves the sourcing, recruitment, hiring, and management of healthcare personnel. Everyone from physicians to registered nurses and therapists goes through these processes to work in the healthcare business.
Above all, these are processes that must be performed properly in this industry more than any other. Here, recruiting the wrong employee for a healthcare facility can bring serious consequences. Thus, you can ensure the well-being of your patients by dealing with your healthcare staffing properly.
Furthermore, healthcare staffing has also become a matter of concern in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, healthcare personnel was the most severely hit during such a pandemic, which brought several issues we will address further.
On the other hand, healthcare staffing is currently an attention focus for some healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes. Certainly, most of them are now substantially understaffed worldwide because of several reasons.
2. Which are the issues healthcare staffing is facing today?
The healthcare industry faced a severe crisis during the peak phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more positive cases every day, the need for resources and healthcare equipment reached levels never seen in history. Consequently, it also demanded a tremendous increase in healthcare staff workload.
As you can see here, it does not look like a pretty picture. Luckily, the worst point of the pandemic is now behind us, but some of its effects last to this day. Such effects are the main reason for the issues healthcare staffing is facing today.
The number healthcare staffing issues depends on factors such as your healthcare facility’s location and external support. Nevertheless, we managed to find two issues that are common to every healthcare facility around the world. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected other industries as well. One clear example of this is the construction industry which heavily needs a recovery. Thus, you can promote such a recovery by using staffing tips you should know.
Let us now show you in detail the two most important issues healthcare staffing is facing today:
During the months when the daily cases reached staggering levels, the healthcare staff was subdued to an extremely heavy workload. With clinics and hospitals completely packed with COVID-19 patients, healthcare personnel had their agendas totally booked.
Certainly, you are right to expect there will be collateral effects from such a heavy workload. Indeed, healthcare staff management began to see raising fatigue and emotional distress in its workers. In other words, they were starting to suffer burnout.
In the healthcare industry, Burnout is a condition not taken lightly. After all, fatigued and stressed employees can potentially make mistakes in their job. Hence, it can lead to several health problems in patients related to bad treatment.
Above all, burnout directly attacks healthcare employees’ motivation, making it drop substantially. However, you can seek examples of how to increase it in other industries. One you can review in this matter is how you can increase motivation among remote employees.
2.2 Staffing shortages
Last but not least, with the burnout and the medical concerns related to COVID-19, you started to see employees leaving. The premise of feeling tired and protecting their families drove several healthcare employees to resign from their current jobs. Therefore, healthcare staffing shortages started to be a real problem in many healthcare facilities worldwide. It is an issue that is still present today because of the difficulties of finding qualified healthcare employees.
Furthermore, most healthcare facilities have dealt with this problem by increasing the workload of the remaining employees. This way, they start a vicious cycle where such increased workload generates burnout in employees that later decide to resign.
On the other hand, staffing shortages are a problem seen in other businesses besides healthcare. One location where this is clearly evident is in Dubai, where many firms are still currently understaffed.
3. How can you handle these healthcare staffing issues?
You have probably heard the quote “every problem has a solution” at some point in your life. This also applies to healthcare staffing issues that are affecting the healthcare industry today. In this matter, solving such issues requires understanding them. Both burnout and staffing shortages are directly related to how healthcare workers feel while working in healthcare facilities. Hence, you must design strategies directed to make them feel better and safer working there.
With this goal in mind, we managed to find five ways you can handle these healthcare staffing issues properly. However, every healthcare facility has different resources and demands; therefore, feel free to seek additional ways applicable to your case. Additionally, you will learn later in this article that one way you can deal with this is through staffing services. You may think it would be the same that seeking consulting services, but they actually have fundamental differences.
Let us now focus on the five ways you can handle these healthcare staffing issues:
3.1 Commitment bonuses
With the higher workload in most cases, healthcare employees received a lot of requests for working extra hours. But, even with the additional compensation regarding overtime, it was not enough to change their mind about leaving. In this matter, some healthcare facilities are taking it further, by paying their employees what they call a commitment bonus. In essence, it is an extra payment you can make to your healthcare employees for staying working at your facility.
As a result, they will see the extra income as an opportunity, motivating them to keep providing their healthcare services. Logically, it brings as consequence the increase in labor costs. But, it is better to pay them more than to lose them entirely. Furthermore, you can also include these commitment bonuses as another attractive part of your job offers. Here, you can learn how to make them even more attractive by understanding how staffing recruiters search for potential candidates.
3.2 Reducing services
Let us now say that you are financially unable to pay commitment bonuses to your healthcare staff. In this case, you may stop thinking about paying more and start thinking about working less. Therefore, you should consider the option of reducing services.
You can do this by delegating patients to other healthcare facilities and stopping accepting new patients during peak demands. This way, you can decrease your healthcare employees’ workload, allowing them to work without severe stress and fatigue. Consequently, it would also decrease your revenue by working with fewer patients. Thus, we recommend you apply this way temporarily until your healthcare services’ demand reaches more acceptable levels.
On the other hand, reducing services is also a premise for businesses where raw materials do not arrive on time. In this matter, supply chain shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a major influence on this and other aspects, such as staffing.
3.3 Redesigning and reorganizing
Reducing services is not a viable option for you? Well, you may consider then redesigning and reorganizing your healthcare business. In essence, you must analyze how to rearrange your staff or departments to work more efficiently in your healthcare facility.
For instance, you can use some of your current permanent employees to fulfill management positions that become available recently. Furthermore, you can redesign your facility by increasing the safety precautions necessary to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks.
In other words, you must look at how your team is distributed, and predict the benefits of some position changes. Remember, your goal here is to make their work more efficient and less stressful. Thus, embrace your creativity and your knowledge to see how several changes can be helpful. You can even make your healthcare business more attractive to job seekers this way. Therefore, your recruiters will also be less stressed.
3.4 Embracing telehealth
The current technological advances and interconnectivity have made it possible to work remotely from any country. It is a way of working that proved its value and demonstrated its advantages during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the healthcare business, several facilities shifted their services to remote work, performing diagnoses and medical consults this way. In other words, they are dealing with the healthcare staffing issues by embracing telehealth.
Working remotely allows physicians to work more securely while being available for patients from anywhere in the world. As a result, they will no longer have any concerns related to getting COVID-19 at a healthcare facility. Several businesses besides healthcare have shifted to remote work because of its numerous benefits. One example of this is the staffing agencies that are now managing their team remotely.
3.5 Outsourcing your healthcare staffing
After many of your employees resign and leave several available positions in your healthcare company, you need to start recruiting. However, with the heavy workload, you will not have the time to perform your recruitment processes correctly.
One interesting way you can deal with this problem is by outsourcing your healthcare staffing. In other words, you can let your chosen healthcare staffing agency perform all of these processes for you. They will also do it more efficiently, applying their knowledge to recruit potential candidates quickly.
In this way, you can get both full-time employees and contract workers for your healthcare company. Your healthcare staffing agency will use all their available tools to find the best qualified employees you require. Several types of facilities have used this option for a long time, even before the COVID-19 pandemic started. For example, some healthcare companies request travel nurses through healthcare staffing agencies to deal with seasonal peaks of some diseases.
In conclusion, this is a way you can apply for almost every case. But, it requires you to take some time to choose your healthcare staffing company correctly.
4. Where can you find more information about healthcare staffing?
The COVID-19 pandemic represented a cataclysm to the healthcare industry around the world. Between its many effects, you can find healthcare companies that now have fatigued employees or lower staff. Hence, you must be aware of the best practices you can use for handling healthcare staffing issues properly.
One of the best practices you can apply to deal with this is seeking the services of healthcare staffing agencies. They will allow you to hire qualified healthcare workers more quickly. On Connect Staff, we believe in doing meaningful work for you, by providing the healthcare staffing services you require.
Do you have some inquiries regarding healthcare staffing services? Feel free to contact us to obtain more information about how we can help you, by calling us at +971 43 316 688. You can email us at email@example.com, and you will talk to one of our representatives who will resolve all your doubts.
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