What is the top staffing concern for healthcare organizations? How can leaders create strategies that allow them to remain flexible in crisis, and how can they position their facilities to advance care quality?
These are just a few of the topics addressed during the Future of Staffing Virtual Briefing, which featured a panel discussion titled “Delivering Uninterrupted Care Through Dynamic Staffing Strategies.”
Moderator Angie Stewart of Modern Healthcare Custom Media was joined by:
- Medical Solutions – Jake Whitmore, Senior Director of Client Growth
- Hicuity Health – Ellen McEvoy, Vice President of Service Line Development
- AMN Healthcare – Jeff Decker, President of the Locum Tenens Division
- Surgical Directions – Lee Hedman, Executive Vice President
The top staffing concern for healthcare providers
It’s no secret we have a workforce crisis in healthcare that is impacting all areas of the industry. With a crisis like this, it’s tempting to jump to the quickest, short-term solution possible. While organizations do need to fix where they’re at today, it’s vital to look at long-term staffing planning as well for when the next crisis hits.
The top staffing concern is that workplace shortages in healthcare will only increase. The good news is that facilities have an opportunity to be proactive — rather than reactive — when handling their staffing needs.
The importance of flexibility in staffing solutions
The COVID pandemic changed how hospitals and health systems run. During that time, it was difficult for healthcare organizations to have a well-defined staffing plan in place, particularly if they never had or needed one before. Though the pandemic has stabilized, workforce planning still presents a challenge to facilities today.
This is where flexibility comes in, and why it’s so important to work with an agency or managed service provider (MSP) with access to the resources needed to help leaders make informed staffing decisions and build promising staffing models by predicting staffing supply and demand.
Barriers to proactive staffing models
Organizations have embraced a variety of staffing models during the pandemic, from virtual and in-person, to utilizing travelers, locum, and full-time permanent nurses. Organizations now have the chance to challenge the status quo by taking a step back and observing what’s no longer working, which can be overwhelming and seem like an impossible goal.
The key to overcoming barriers like this, says Medical Solutions’ Jake Whitmore, is strategically prioritizing long-term planning.
“The good news is that there are no unbreakable barriers. It’s really a series of small speed bumps that seem intimidating when you look at them collectively,” Whitmore said.
When asked why existing staffing solutions might have proven unsuccessful, healthcare leaders either say they don’t know, or that it’s a moot point because that’s the way they’ve always done things. Change is risky, but it’s not out of reach for any healthcare organization.
Advancing care quality through dialogue with employees
The organizations that are best at overcoming obstacles are the ones that ensure all the right stakeholders are involved in decision-making, whether that organization is looking at staffing solutions, new programs, or new partnerships.
For healthcare organizations to advance care quality, it’s vital they listen to their employees. There have been generational shifts as well as shifts in attitudes around work-life balance due to the pandemic, but what organizational leaders need to understand is that clinicians want to work. They want to do what’s right for their patients, but they also want to take care of their own families and themselves.
The evolution of healthcare staffing
As the healthcare industry evolves, so too should your staffing approach. It’s important to continually look for ways to combine flexibility and control with technology — like telehealth — and data to find the right workforce solutions and fill staffing voids.
A people-first approach is vital to succeeding in any sort of short-term or long-term staffing plan. The panelists agree that healthcare organizations and their staff want and need much more than transactional relationships. The focus should always be on providing the best and highest quality of patient care — something that is easier to achieve with the right staffing approach.
View the on-demand panel discussion today.
Medical Solutions, one of the nation’s largest healthcare talent ecosystems, connects nurses, allied health clinicians and clinical leaders with healthcare facilities across the U.S. Its service offerings include contingent staffing, managed services, strike staffing, permanent placement, local contract and per diem staffing.