Medical facilities are one of the epicenters of the Covid-19 pandemic and its after-effects as the country deals with a new normal of social distancing and other preventative measures. Most governmental agencies are recommending working from home for all non-essential workers. This may become the “new normal” for healthcare systems and hospitals as the country adapts to increased worker safety.
Staffing at hospitals is certainly in flux as resources are diverted to virus containment strategies in both patient care and overall operations. They understand that keeping positions filled with skilled workers is going to be a challenge, and the most successful are moving towards a new staffing strategy. Instead of competing for full-time workers with higher-than-average compensation and benefits, innovative hospitals are adopting an agile workforce staffing strategy, shifting the focus to short-term contractors and other types of alternative workers to fill positions on an as-needed basis.
Balancing Workers’ Safety With Business Needs
Hiring permanent full-time employees has always been challenging for hospitals with a fine-balance needed between workers’ interests and business needs. Keeping appropriate staffing levels is critical to employee satisfaction and patient care, but healthcare systems need to watch the bottom line. Even before Covid-19, several factors contributed to staffing challenges for medical facilities:
- Changing payor arrangements
- Fluctuations in work volume
- Regulatory changes
- Economic issues
- Gaps in the labor market
Applying worker safety protocols in addition to what’s listed above creates a need for a flexible staffing model, using outsourcing options, independent contractors and crowdsourcing techniques to supplement core staff with additional workers. This technique, often referred to as an agile workforce strategy, ensures that the right amount of labor is available to care for patients, regardless of changes in the business landscape.
The Agile Workforce: Benefits for Workers and Hospitals
Today’s healthcare workers are joining the wave of workers joining the “gig economy” with interim work and consulting. They’ve embraced the opportunities of flexible work and are making a career out of short-term and as-needed employment.
Some hospital administrators wonder about whether such a worker can be truly loyal to their organization, but these self-employed interim workers rely on excellence in their current position to increase their network of future opportunities. Indeed, these “gig workers” build valuable skills and increase their overall employability over the long-term.
Innovative hospitals and healthcare systems use process innovation, along with new models and management practices to continuously rethink organization structure, workflow, and the use of human capital. Those that welcome these new types of workers create an agile workforce needed for hospitals to succeed and grow.
Remote Solutions From Nearterm
Hospitals will need to continue a cautious approach to hiring full-time staff in a post-pandemic world. Nearterm helps healthcare organizations fill gaps created by these uncertainties as part of our overall 360 RCM Managed Services.
Our national client base includes hospitals, clinics, and other provider types that need credentialed, certified, vetted, and professionally managed remote medical coding and AR resolution specialists located in the United States.
Contact Nearterm to learn how we can help your organization eliminate a backlog or backfill on a special project.