You struggle to keep enough nursing staff per shift. This struggle forces you to decrease hospital admissions to maintain a safe staff-to-patient ratio. This reduction means your top two income-generating surgeons cannot draw in the number of patients they had previously.
Dissatisfied, those two surgeons shift most of their patient load to your better-staffed competitor, taking their reliable OR income streams with them.
Soon, word about your staffing problems spreads to other physicians, making it difficult to attract surgeons to your facility. As the consumerization of healthcare proliferates, your reputation also suffers among your targeted population. When given the choice, your prospective patients choose a competing facility instead of yours. Maintaining a stable operating income becomes impossible. Your finance management suffers and Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements also take a hit.
As a hospital or health facility manager, does that describe your nightmare scenario?
If so, you’re not alone.
Staffing issues create life-and-death consequences for patients and activate the death spiral many hospitals dive into right before declaring bankruptcy.
And it all began with a staffing problem.
Is the Staffing Crisis Real?
Is there truly a staffing crisis in healthcare? Yes.
A 2015 report from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, McCourt School of Public Policy: “Nursing Supply and Demand Through 2020” reports the following:
- The economy will create 1.6 million job openings for nurses through 2020.
- By 2020, the United States will face a shortfall of 193,000 nursing professionals.
According to the American Nursing Association, 700,000 nurses will retire or leave the labor force by 2024.
Becker’s Hospital Review offers their perspective on the healthcare staffing crisis: “Two years ago, approximately 30% of healthcare jobs across the nation went unfilled. In 2016, according to the BLS, the percentage of unfilled healthcare job openings rose to 50%. Today, there are about a half million unfilled jobs in healthcare.”
What Has Created the Healthcare Staffing Shortage?
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) 2016 Update, The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2014 to 2025 describes the two main drivers of this predicted shortage: population growth and aging. From now until 2025, the U.S. population is expected to grow from 319 million to 346 million. The population aged 65 and older will grow by 41% during that same time frame. Seniors tend to consume more health care than non-seniors.
In recent years, the Affordable Care Act also created higher demand. Those newly covered by insurance consume the health services that coverage now allows. Though the future of the ACA is in flux, its impact will still affect the health service market for a least a few more years..
Changes to migration flow may also impact available healthcare workers. The Migration Policy Institute reports that one-fifth of all health care workers are immigrants. That includes 27.9% doctors and surgeons, and 23.8% nurses and home health aides.
If Staffing Is the Problem, What’s the Solution?
There is no end in sight for this shortage. The question remains then: How do you respond to keep your health facility safe and operational?
Health facility administrators, recruiting agencies, RPOs—all struggle with the demands this shortage creates. Technology and smarter recruiting can relieve that stress. Part of the answer includes:
- Using analytics and AI to discover which healthcare workers are not currently looking for new jobs but would be open to opportunities.
- A sourcing platform that focuses solely on healthcare.
- An engagement tool that not only helps with acquisition, but also long-term retention.
There are many healthcare situations you can’t control. Staffing should not be one of them. Rekruti was built specifically to address this shortage. Sign up for our demo to see how Rekruti works.