By Tammy McCausland
It’s well documented that the healthcare workforce has been hit hard by the pandemic. Burnout and stress have caused unprecedented rates of departure. At the same time, COVID-19 precipitated a time in which workers have greater opportunities to change jobs for more money, better benefits and more favorable work conditions.
Healthcare employers have to fill many vacancies and simultaneously retain current staff. In “Hiring staff during the great resignation,” Aine Cryts presents hiring strategies for front desk and medical assistant staff, administrative staff and clinical staff. One strategy is to post openings locally (such as through a relevant Facebook group). Other options include hiring people part-time and offering staff a flexible work schedule; both offer employers a chance to save money on health insurance and other benefits. The article also emphasizes the need to have pay rates for one’s specific market. Flexibility for all kinds of hires seems to be key.
“How 9 health systems are trying to retain their talent (beyond compensation)” outlines nine ways healthcare leaders are trying to retain staff. These include assistance with housing and child care, educational opportunities and mental health benefits. As healthcare employers get creative in their efforts to fill positions, hiring managers need to be aware of aspects of relevant employment law compliances. “Key Legal Considerations for Hiring and Retention Incentives in Healthcare” outlines five important ones: loan repayment and tuition advancement, bonuses, remote work, independent contractors and focusing on the pipeline.
Experts suggests tech and training may be key to improving retention. In the article “How can hospitals improve staff retention? Tech and training, experts say,” Rebecca Pifer discusses using digital tools to solve workforce pain points. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) and voice-to-text tools can streamline medical documentation and thereby reduce the administrative burden. Digital tools can also be used to give practitioners patient data in a format that is useful to them and when they need it. The article also suggests a bottom-up, empathetic management approach can help with retention. Pifer writes, “That relational aspect and sense of belonging is key, and is helped by managers listening to and soliciting feedback from their employees.”
“Too many bureaucratic tasks” was the top reason cited for burnout in the 2021 Medscape National Physician Burnout & Suicide report. “How AI can increase healthcare organizations’ efficiency and reduce burnout” discusses how AI can be used to reduce the administrative burden. AI can be used in several ways: to transform unstructured data into structured data to streamline a parent’s care journey; to make CT and MR scans more precise and reduce time devoted to image analysis; and to predict and manage patient flow. The article concludes, “It’s [AI] a matter of simplifying clinicians’ lives, making their jobs easier, and ultimately helping them help patients achieve better outcomes.” Reduced bureaucracy may lighten the load and reduce the stress clinicians face.
“3 Ways Hospitals Can Boost Worker Engagement” suggests increasing staff engagement improves hospital performance. Greater engagement has a positive effect on hospital costs and treatment effectiveness. The article highlights three ways to improve employee engagement: 1) prioritize patient and staff safety; 2) build a culture of accountability; and 3) provide proof that new practices will be worthwhile.
While challenging, this period in health care offers a unique opportunity for hiring managers and healthcare organizations to implement strategies to hire, retain and engage staff and make their workplace a place where people want to come and stay.
Hiring staff during the great resignation
How 9 health systems are trying to retain their talent (beyond compensation)
Key Legal Considerations for Hiring and Retention Incentives in Healthcare
How can hospitals improve staff retention? Tech and training, experts say
How AI can increase healthcare organizations’ efficiency and reduce burnout
3 Ways Hospitals Can Boost Worker Engagement
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