When companies are short-staffed, employees are often overwhelmed and overworked. This burden on employees may lead to critical errors in performing day-to-day responsibilities and decreased productivity. Few industries have higher stakes than healthcare, where errors can result in poor patient care and potentially life-threatening situations for patients.
As healthcare employers deal with long-standing staffing shortages made worse by COVID-19, they should consider how to better support employees.
A Look at Staffing Shortages in Healthcare
Healthcare employers have struggled with staffing shortages for some time, but the challenge has grown exponentially throughout the pandemic as healthcare workers have been overworked and overwhelmed. A poll conducted by Morning Consult in September 2021 of 1000 healthcare workers indicated that of those represented, nearly one in five healthcare workers left their jobs during the pandemic.1
Staffing shortage issues don’t seem likely to go away any time soon, either. According to a 2021 study conducted by Mercer, healthcare staffing shortages will likely continue for the next five to 10 years.2
According to ECRI, the nation’s largest nonprofit patient safety organization, insufficient staffing levels put a strain on healthcare employees, impact patient care and pose a threat to patient safety.3 These strains on a short-staffed medical team can lead to medical errors and higher patient mortality rates.4
In a 2022 release on patient safety concerns, ECRI reported healthcare staffing shortages as a top threat to patient safety, stating that patients are waiting longer for care—even in life-threatening emergencies—and sometimes even being turned away.5
Overcome Staffing Issues
According to the American Hospital Association’s 2022 Healthcare Talent Scan, customized retention strategies can be a key factor to overcoming staffing issues.6 Competitive pay, flexible scheduling and employee recognition are a few options to consider for an improved employee retention strategy.
Supporting healthcare employees with on-demand pay and other financial wellness benefits can go a long way in strengthening recruitment and keeping employees longer.
Support Employee Wellness to Improve Patient Care
To cure staffing shortages, healthcare employers should consider shifting their focus to improving their employee retention strategy.
Many recent studies, including this study of nearly 150 VA medical centers, have shown that increased employee retention can result in better motivation in the workplace, leading to an improvement in the overall employee experience and ultimately resulting in better patient care.7
Employee wellness improvements can include benefits, greater workplace flexibility and more financial wellness support. Offering on-demand pay can boost employee retention as well as attract new employees to fill staffing gaps.
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All information herein is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any other use. The information herein does not constitute the rendering of financial advice or other professional advice by DailyPay. No fiduciary obligation or duty exists, or is created, between you and DailyPay. DailyPay does not warrant the completeness or accuracy of any information provided to you.
1 https://morningconsult.com/2021/10/04/health-care-workers-series-part-2-workforce/ :DailyPay, 2020
2 https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/workforce/healthcare-staff-shortages-projected-for-every-state-by-2026-4-report-findings.html:DailyPay, 2020
3 https://www.ecri.org/press/ecri-reports-staffing-shortages-and-clinician-mental-health-are-top-threats:DailyPay, 2020
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175/:DailyPay, 2020
5 https://www.ecri.org/press/ecri-reports-staffing-shortages-and-clinician-mental-health-are-top-threats:DailyPay, 2020
6 https://www.aha.org/aha-center-health-innovation-market-scan/2022-02-15-5-ways-ease-staffing-shortages-now-and-future:DailyPay, 2020
7 https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/improving-patient-experience-by-engaging-your-employees/:DailyPay, 2020
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