Resources > Blog > How to Ease the Pain of Healthcare Staffing
With the third year of COVID-19 beginning, hospitals and other healthcare offices continue to struggle with a labor shortage that industry experts, executives, and analysts don’t expect will disappear anytime soon. If you ask people in the healthcare industry how they're feeling right now, many would have the same response: "stressed." Does this sound like it's describing you and your current daily work life?
The entire healthcare industry is crunched right now, and much of it falls on the person responsible for staffing and scheduling. Without you keeping the shifts filled, the patients aren't receiving the care they both need and deserve. It's harder to accomplish this right now than ever before.
Dealing with Scheduling and Healthcare Worker Shortages
Altogether, the hospital subsector's workforce has dipped nearly 90,000 people since March of 2020, according to preliminary November data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the nursing sector alone, the American Nurses Association expects there will be more than 100,000 registered nursing jobs open and available by next year.
If you asked most healthcare leaders what one of their biggest worries is as they think about their organizations in the short- and long-term, empty roles in the workforce would be at the top of almost all of their lists. You know this to be true firsthand. Every day, you have employees quitting, being relieved of their duties, and retiring at a record pace.
Long hours, few days off, and the overwhelming stress of handling COVID-19 patients and their families have worn down the workforce. Recent surveys suggest that a large number of nurses are weighing their option to retire or leave the industry completely, while the number of new doctors and nurses coming into the pipeline is insufficient to meet the growing demands of this year and beyond.
Tackling the Biggest Healthcare Scheduling Challenges Right Now
Between COVID-19 compliance, vaccinations, safety protocols, testing, and COVID-positive workers, you have a lot of things affecting your scheduling efforts. At a moment's notice, what felt like the perfect schedule is completely upended. How can you deal with all of this and any last-minute shift changes?
Doing this all by hand in the situation the healthcare industry is currently in is just untenable at this point—plain and simple.
By far, one of the biggest challenges for managers scheduling staff for hospitals, clinics, and doctors offices is the sudden changes needed when someone tests positive right before a shift. What you need is to be able to move very quickly and realign resources to where they need to be, without conflict and without exceeding the number of hours that someone is able to work or their open availability. It's easy to feel like it's an emergency when someone calls out sick, but when you can quickly and efficiently fill their spot, it won't be!
This doesn't even factor in the budgeting issues with per diem and traveling nurses. Open shifts that can't be filled with your regular staff must be worked by more expensive replacements. You need your staff members to work their shifts and you need the accounting department to stay under budget. Much of these pains fall onto your shoulders.
Ease Your Pains with Staff Scheduling Software
Staff scheduling is a challenge in the healthcare industry, especially considering the staffing shortages and healthcare worker burnout we're seeing right now. Healthcare facilities are dealing with last-minute shift changes, plus COVID-19 protocols, vaccine tracking, and contact tracing. You may feel like you're left to deal with it all on your own, but you're not. What you're looking for is a way to be able to reassign their shift, so the work day goes on completely unaffected. SubItUp can help solve these issues.
Our staff scheduling software is able to both address and solve these scheduling challenges. While your job may be laborious, it will be much less so if you're using a top-of-the-line software instead of a simple spreadsheet.
Let's say you need a hire a new PA. If you have our staff scheduling software in place, you can easily go in and see which shifts need to be covered. This makes it much easier to hire the person whose availability matches your scheduling needs.
You won't be the only one benefitting from implementing this software. When your staff can more easily request time off, see when they work, or keep track of COVID exposures, you can all work together as a team to make sure everyone is getting what they need. This is a huge step in the right direction towards reducing guesswork, confusion, feeling burnt out, and stress!
Speaking of COVID, now is a great time to point out that many in the healthcare industry need to keep track of the vaccination status of dozens, if not hundreds, of employees. The right staff scheduling software enables you to do this easily, and of course, is HIPAA compliant. We offer COVID management as well. Our COVID management capability means if a virus outbreak were to occur at your hospital or office, your software would make it much more simple for you to see who was possibly exposed, contact them, and make new arrangements for future shifts while they quarantine.
We look forward to being able to help you! If you want to learn more about how our staff scheduling software works and how it can make your life easier, contact us today.