Healthcare facilities are still experiencing a shortage of professionals to care for our aging population post COVID-19. The changes in our healthcare sector are caused by nurses either exiting the workforce or traveling to earn a higher income. The high demand and low supply has led to a multitude of factors such as decreased admission rates, employee and patient satisfaction rates resulting in a financial crisis.
The lack of experienced nurses to train and educate new graduate professionals has left a detrimental influence and trust from patients and residents in our healthcare system. Family members are becoming more involved in their loved ones' medical care by increasing their knowledge and providing more input in their care plan. Most family members are taking care of their loved ones in the comfort of their home and seek outpatient medical care. The increase in home health services has caused a decrease in admission rates leading to a financial strain on healthcare facilities.
Nurse burnout is a major contributing factor in employee and patient satisfaction rates. Healthcare professionals are constantly working short staffed, employees do not feel supported from upper management and patients are not provided with exceptional care to improve with overall wellbeing. In research from Haddad et al. (2022) the national average for turnover rates is 8.8 % to 37.0%, depending on geographic location and nursing specialty. When facilities are not adequately staffed this increases staff turnover, stress levels and emotional exhaustion. It not only affects staff but patients are receiving the negative outcome causing patient neglect from skin breakdown, decrease response time, increase falls and overall satisfaction and trust in our healthcare system. When paying patients or residents are unsatisfied with the quality of care, family members will move them to another facility or start home health services. This ripple effect can majorly cause a healthcare facility financial crisis.
Working short staff should be avoided as much as possible to ensure facilities remain open to provide care to our community members and job opportunities for healthcare professionals. Here are 2 ways to ensure your organization remains in active status.
Allow flexible scheduling options. This helps healthcare professionals to balance their work, home and educational opportunities. Being flexible will ensure that you care for their physical, emotional and mental well-being resulting in an exceptional dependable employee.
Listen and Engage. This allows for team communication to improve resulting in increased employee and patient satisfaction rates. Allowing their voices to be heard, advocating for their patients, sharing their knowledge will also increase positive engagement.
For such a complex problem, there is no simple solution. But there are strategies, initiatives and practices that we can examine and put into play today. Here at Reliable Healthcare Staffing, we provide solutions. Our staff provide care and support, advocate for our patients health, and participate to ensure patient safety overall. It is so significant to healthcare delivery that any challenge healthcare facilities face impacts us all.
Greenwood, H. (2022, February 11). The 2021 American Nursing Shortage: A Data Study. University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. https://www.usa.edu/blog/nursing-shortage/
Hadad, L. (2022, February 22). National Library of Medicine. Nursing Shortage. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175