Between a tightening labor market and an aging population, it may seem like there are not enough clinicians to go around. In addition, labor costs now account for 60% of an average hospital's total budget, highlighting the need to control labor expenses. But for many hospital administrators, a reduction in total labor costs can seem like an insurmountable feat. And with many hospitals lacking standardized labor cost data, many hospital administrators are unable to pinpoint the exact reasons why they are overspending.
Healthy company culture is essential to the success of any business. For example, 88% of employment seekers say a positive work culture is vital to their satisfaction with a job. A hospital or medical practice is no different from any other workplace in that regard. Employee satisfaction impacts recruitment, retention, and productivity. It also affects how patients are treated.
VISTA knows that health systems and medical organizations have cost containment in mind, and CFOs are facing the same challenges but within different environments. Here are just some of the challenges that CFO's of health systems are facing and how to combat them.
Many businesses searching for qualified candidates find an undersupply of workers due to the low unemployment numbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate so far in 2021 is about 6%, an 18-year low. The job market is roaring back from the historic lows of the pandemic (14.8%) unemployment, which means it is a job-seekers market.
In today's climate, many hospitals and healthcare systems are understaffed. This reality, combined with the desire to offer excellent care, makes it difficult for them to effectively handle all the duties related to operation on their own. Balancing continuity of care with cost control requires a technology-based approach capable of handling immediate and long-term provider staffing needs.
Clinicians are necessary for successful healthcare delivery. The roles they play in quality patient care, disease management, patient satisfaction, and overall population health are central to hospitals, clinical operations, and society as a whole. However, when a healthcare system experiences a high turnover rate in its clinician pool, the related costs are astronomical. For example, investing in a new hire can demand upwards of one million dollars just for the first year.
As pressure to control costs mounts, a growing number of healthcare recruiters are discovering the value that locum tenens clinicians can bring to their organizations. Highly trained locum tenens clinicians deliver necessary post-surgical follow-up care that enables surgeons to continue to operate on patients. They also fill in on an as-needed basis when physicians are on leave, preventing gaps in care and revenue loss.
The COVID-19 pandemic placed an unprecedented amount of stress on systems across all sectors, but no industry was tested more than healthcare. Once the U.S. government declared a national emergency, all non-essential procedures were halted. Although the number of critical care patients increased, the number of patients undergoing elective procedures decreased causing hospitals and provider groups to experience financial hardship. Meanwhile, the circumstances called for some adaptation on the part of staff members. Facilities called in clinicians across all disciplines to help care for COVID-19 patients.
When a healthcare organization is staffing its facility, it's of the utmost importance to identify skilled, proficient, and ethical candidates. Talented healthcare providers lead to better patient outcomes, and providers with integrity tend to act ethically and honorably, even if they make a mistake.
The medical profession is a complicated one to navigate at the moment. Hiring physicians is especially challenging in this environment. But despite these challenges, it remains true that staffing your facility with high-performing individuals is the surest (and, really, the only) way to create a successful medical organization. The question then becomes: how does your organization overcome any staffing challenges that could potentially impede the progress?
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About VISTA Staffing Solutions
At VISTA we’re dedicated to being our clients’ strategic workforce optimization partner. With our deep industry expertise and exclusive locums MSP technology, we help health systems, hospitals, practices, and government entities build and sustain effective workforce models that ensure patient access to care and organizational stability. Covering more than 60 specialties, we staff physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to help our clients preserve revenue and maintain profitability.