How to face hospital staffing challenges?

30 Aug, 2016 | Tags: , ,

Hospitals are a busy place — they are also the place where every single task is important and urgent. And hence, scheduling of manual labor becomes extremely important. There are so many challenges that hospital administrators face when it comes to hospital staffing.

Every patient needs to be constantly looked after. There should always be doctors present within the hospital premises to take care of an emergency or a new patient. Every team should be equally balanced and have equal number of people. Also, there should not be too many open shifts. This will ensure that the hospital staff is not overburdened with work each day. Open shifts do not only drain the hospital staff of its energy, they also lead to increased labor costs. There are many such tasks around scheduling the onus of which fall upon hospital administrators and staff persons. The hospital can run into great trouble if the staff scheduling is not properly done.

While most hospitals employ the services of expert administrators to do scheduling, sometimes even the experts fail. It is difficult to manage a system as big and as unpredictable as hospitals. There are certain strategies that hospital administrators can employ to reduce hospital staffing challenges. Here are a few of them:

1. Centralize the resource management system: In most of the hospitals, each unit has a separate scheduling manager. While this is a good idea as far as team or unit communication is concerned, it can also lead to scheduling issues. If staffing managers of different unit work together, staff paucity can be taken care of by moving staffs across teams. One of the best ways to manage resources in a hospital is to create a centralized system where people become a part of a single large team instead of small segregated teams. The impact of this should also be noted and analysed from time to time so that an efficient system can be put into place.

2. Induce self – scheduling:   Self-scheduling is a good idea if you do not suffer from paucity of hospital staff in general. Self-scheduling also creates an environment of co-ordination and personal management. It empowers hospital staff and allows them to work according to their own comfort. This is especially good if your hospital staff is made mostly of nurses and attendants who are parents to young kids and who need to devote time to their family on a daily basis. However, self-scheduling system will not work well if the hospital staff is not wholly committed to their job.

3. Do predictive analysis:   Most businesses employ this technique to get an idea of future staff demand. Based on data analysis, business intelligence and predictive modelling, resource managers can plan well in advance. Though predictive analysis will not give exact numbers, it will still gave a fair idea of the number of staff members that will be needed in the months to come. If the charts show rigorous demands, administrators can actually begin to train the hospital staff in advance. Management based on predictive analysis is known to have reduced costs and created very effective systems. If you are managing a hospital with a big work force, you can benefit greatly from predictive analysis.

4. Get rid of recurring open shifts: Open shifts can create an imbalance in the scheduling chart. An open shift means that someone from the staff who already has a full-time duty will have to cover up for the absence of another person or a last-minute opening. Recurring open shifts can make the hospital staff feel exhausted. They can also lead to job satisfaction. Hence, open shifts should be taken care of. One of the best ways to reduce open shifts and minimize staff dissatisfaction is to induce incentives. Hospitals should introduce a rule under which every person doing an open shift should be given an incentive.

Taking care of hospital staffing challenges will not only reduce the total cost, it will also create a better working environment for the hospital staff. Not just that, it will lead to an efficient system in which every patient is taken care of properly. An inefficient management system can cause chaos and negligence, and there is no place for either of the two in a hospital.