One of the more significant rippling effects of the coronavirus pandemic, even in the post-COVID era, has been a greater focus on employee retention. Within that scope, there has been greater emphasis placed on attracting quality talent and ensuring all workers feel fulfilled to complete their jobs successfully.
Kaufman Hall, a well-known management consulting firm, and Syntellis, a healthcare data and intelligence solution organization, released the January 2023 National Hospital Flash Report. The insight provided in the report combines 2022 operating performance data from 900 hospitals nationwide. The National Hospital Flash report is intended to provide healthcare organizations with a granular view of how they are operating in everchanging market conditions with the hopes of providing insight to inspire solutions to hospital financial and operational challenges.
Even pre-pandemic, the healthcare industry as a whole had staffing shortages. But the past few years have exacerbated such pre-existing issues, often to the point where organizations of all sizes began pivoting and re-examining their hiring and employee retention practices. This has been particularly true when hiring nurses.
Talent Acquisition Optimization: A Progressive and Innovative Solution to Combating the Uncertainty of the Clinical Staffing Trends
The Pandemic swept the nation and revealed the extreme pressures placed on our country's healthcare delivery system. Healthcare provider organizations face a highly competitive market due to chronic labor shortages and burnt-out medical workers. Additionally, inflation and unsustainable market rates that have yet to stabilize are making for the perfect storm. As a result, hospitals are being forced to find solutions that are both progressive and innovative to combat this clinical staffing dynamic. Healthcare organizations must address labor shortages with more creativity and business intelligence than before the Pandemic to operate in the black.
HWL is thrilled to welcome Tommy Binner to our team as the Vice President of Business Development, with a special focus on Locum Tenens. Tommy joins HWL with several years’ experience in the healthcare field, as well as the technology field.
The past few years have dramatically changed the way we think about work. Whether it's the rise of the gig economy or the ubiquity of remote work, nearly every industry has been impacted by the ever-evolving labor landscape; and the healthcare industry is no exception.
In the past decades, the healthcare industry as a whole has seen unprecedented labor shortages, which were greatly exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. With record rates of burnout, the Great Resignation, and other factors seemingly outside of the industry's control, healthcare facilities have turned toward locum tenens to fill the gaps.
For the past few years, already-existing labor shortages in the healthcare space have been exacerbated by the pandemic, thus shifting the way facilities operate. Pre-pandemic, there were already ongoing discussions about nursing shortages. In its current state, industry projections state that shortages are slated to last until 2030, with a total supply of nurses decreasing by ~100,000 from 2020 to 2021, the largest drop in four decades.
Kaiser Health News (KHN) shared the news in December that a new workforce solution has attracted the eyes of leadership at many large healthcare organizations across the nation. An increasing number of health systems and medical facilities are creating internal agencies to staff their centers that are struggling with tremendous gaps in their clinical staff and a heavy reliance on travel nurses to fill those gaps. The reliance on travel nurses has created contingent staff costs that have skyrocketed through using the traditional staffing model that healthcare staffing companies offer. Without any cap on what staffing agencies can charge for nurse coverage, hospitals have paid what was asked to avoid any interruption in the care at their facilities. The agency markups are becoming detrimental to the organizations that desperately look to them for nurses.
The 2020s have been a decade of challenges and adversity for society as a whole. Healthcare has borne the brunt of these challenges as it was on the frontlines of many of these trials. Healthcare workers have pushed through many of the obstacles that were put in front of them over the last three years, beginning at the start of the Pandemic. Staff shortages, long hours with no breaks, delays in receiving necessary supplies, and overall low morale have brought forth new core challenges that we must continue to address nationwide as we enter 2023.
Recent years have seen the healthcare industry battling increasing obstacles, but according to multiple surveys and polls, from ACHE and MGMA respectively, staffing shortages remain the top concern of healthcare leaders. While staffing shortages have long plagued the industry, the rapidly rising agency rates for contract nurses and other staff are no longer sustainable for many organizations.
It's no secret that healthcare organizations have had the need for quick, efficient staffing solutions, even before the pandemic started. While coronavirus certainly put extra strain on these systems as well — between the "Great Resignation", unprecedented rates of burnout, and more — healthcare organizations have been struggling to attract and retain the talent that they need to provide quality patient care and improve patient outcomes, including in pediatrics. In fact, nationally, around 80% of pediatric hospital beds were occupied as of late October 2022.
In February, 2020, healthcare facilities and providers across the nation were hit with an unexpected, desperate need for staff. Healthcare Workforce Logistics (HWL) was called on by state organizations and hit the ground running to connect healthcare professionals with communities and organizations who need help as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Healthcare Workforce Logistics (HWL) Awarded Technology and Workforce Management Services Agreement with Conductiv
HWL’s agile solution, design, and delivery capabilities help clients navigate both turnkey and end-to-end enterprise solutions tailored to each of the client's unique requirements.
How HWL and Iroquois Healthcare Association Partnered to Ease the Staffing Challenges of Healthcare Systems Across the Upstate NY Region
Upstate New York healthcare systems were no exception to the staffing crisis felt by virtually every hospital in the country amidst the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The recent 2022 NSI National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report revealed that the average hospital turnover rate was 25.9% in 2021 – a 6.4% increase over the prior year. Pre-Pandemic, many hospitals relied on traditional staffing agencies to fill their vacancies. By the summer of 2020, reliance had turned into dependence, and there seemed to be no end in sight. Particularly in the more rural areas, hospital executives were faced with the most difficult decisions they could possibly imagine- would they be able to meet the financial demand for contingent labor, with hourly bill rate increases of 100 to 200% or would they inevitably be forced to close their doors on the communities that needed them now more than ever?
ABOUT AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER
Located along Georgia’s border with South Carolina, Augusta University Health Medical Center (AUH) is a 520-bed tertiary hospital and ACS-verified Level I trauma center serving patients from over 13 counties across the State of Georgia. As the region’s only academic hospital, AUH conducts leading-edge clinical research and gives patients access to treatments not available elsewhere in the region.
As the Director of Physician Recruitment at one of the largest health systems in Greater Baltimore, Devyn Kern has a lot on her plate. The ongoing physician shortage makes her job at LifeBridge Health increasingly difficult, and the steady flow of physician job requisitions on her desk takes every ounce of her attention. When temporary needs arise, this too falls to Devyn and her department of two, but with no bandwidth to address the needs and no process to follow, the task is often delegated to hiring managers, who contact any number of locum staffing agencies for assistance.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, HWL has helped organizations across the country stay on top of cost-effective staffing needs in order to manage surges in necessary care. One particular place we managed to see great success is in Georgia.