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How Can Hospitals Improve Staffing Vacancies?

In response to the recent hospital staffing vacancies, healthcare administrators have sought to improve staffing retention in various ways. While some of these retention strategies have been partly successful, there have also been continuing challenges to solve.

Looking to learn how you can address your hospital staffing shortages? Here, we analyze four strategies healthcare administrators use in 2023 to improve hospital staffing vacancies. Along the way, we determine what’s working about these strategies—and what isn’t.

1. Incorporating New Digital Tools

Like many industries in 2023, healthcare administrators are taking the leap into A.I.-based tools to improve the work conditions for overworked medical providers.

What’s Working: Reducing Provider Fatigue

Repetitive and exhausting administrative responsibilities have burdened medical professionals for decades.

Thankfully, some of these A.I. tools are reducing click fatigue and are helping free medical providers for more human-based interactions.

What Isn’t: The Challenges of New Tech

As with many A.I. tools, there are many wrinkles to work out. Also, there’s no replacing the skills and intuitive talents required for medical providers to do their job.

Even those organizations investing in A.I. are quick to acknowledge that this technology is only a tool that can help—not a true solution to hospital staffing vacancies.

2. Additional Training for Full-Time Staff

Some healthcare organizations are attempting to address hospital staffing shortages with concentrated efforts to provide new training to hospitalists.

What’s Working: Some Training Helps Makes Jobs Easier

When the proper training is identified and implemented in healthcare systems, there can be numerous benefits.

Proper training can help hospitalists with new technology, systemic strategies, or day-to-day tactics to stay efficient and fresh.

What Isn’t: Extra Training—Easier Said Than Done

Many hospital administrators and providers have the same response: how can we find time for training personnel if we can’t even fill necessary positions on the hospital floor?

It’s a reasonable response. While some training can help, it’s crucial that administrators rigorously evaluate whether particular classes and workshops will benefit staff—and not take away time from already overburdened schedules.

3. Assessing Management Strategies

Some hospital administrators seek to develop culture changes from the top down, by evaluating administrative practices and relationships with their staff, hoping to create a more empathetic, healthy, and community-forward work environment.

What’s Working: Top-Down Improvements Make a Difference

When polling providers regarding hospital staffing shortages, it’s clear that retention may have as much to do with management as provider payment or hours.

The last thing you want for your organization is a reputation for undesirable managerial strategies—especially as word travels fast in the healthcare industry.

What Isn’t: Culture Change is a Long-Term Project

Realistically, top-down systemic change isn’t easy. It often involves years of evaluation, additional training, and culture change.

Hospital staffing shortages are an immediate, pressing issue, so while a shift in managerial strategies can help, combining this strategy with more short-term solutions is essential.

4. Adding Locums and Part-Time Staff

The final strategy healthcare administrators have been using to address their hospital staffing vacancies in 2023 is bringing in qualified locums and moonlighting providers who can help fill the gaps in their organizations.

What’s Working: Locums and Moonlighters Help Balance the Medical Industry

Across the country, many healthcare organizations effectively use locums and moonlighting medical staff to address worker shortages.

These locums and moonlighting solutions are credited with balancing the medical industry in numerous ways, including saving healthcare organizations money, aiding full-time retention, minimizing burnout, and benefiting patient care.

What Isn’t: Some Hospital Staffing Agencies Don’t Provide Support

Not all temporary hospital staffing agencies are of the same quality. While some hospitals have begun using medical staffing apps, they’ve run into shortcomings.

These apps give locums and moonlighting medical staff with little context. As such, providers often find themselves thrown into unfamiliar hospitals with protocols, charting practices, and floor plans they don’t know. The responsibility for supporting temporary staff often falls solely on the backs of the already overworked full-time staff.

To counteract this issue, healthcare facilities should seek out locums agencies that provide medical support teams for their moonlighting and locums partners, so they put their temporary staff in a position to succeed.

OnCall Solutions: Supporting Locums & Moonlighters to Address Hospital Staffing Vacancies

In 2023, it’s become clear that hospital staffing shortages are best addressed through options that support medical providers as much as possible. That’s why hospitalist staffing organizations like OnCall Solutions partner with healthcare organizations to provide the healthcare staff they need—along with the medical support required for them to thrive.

OnCall Solutions knows what’s required to improve the conditions in healthcare organizations for providers, administrators, and patients alike–whether it’s for full-time, part-time, per diem locums, or moonlighting providers.

Are you interested in learning more about ways to help balance the medical industry? Check out the OnCall Solutions’ physician staffing blog, or reach out to us to learn more today.

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