How to Manage Staffing Shortages in the Healthcare Industry


Maintaining appropriate staffing in healthcare facilities is essential to providing a safe work environment for HCP and sufficient patient care. Adequate staffing across various departments in healthcare institutions equates to delivering high-quality care to all patients. 

Adequate staffing lessens the possibility of neglecting standard operating procedures, not giving patients the right attention, or having overworked staff who can’t perform at their best. However, staffing shortages in healthcare have become an issue that further escalated during the Covid pandemic. Due to previous and current circumstances, WHO estimates there will be a shortage of 18 million health workers by 2030

The lack of investment in the education and training of health workers and the mismatch between education and employment strategies relative to current health systems and population needs are primary causes of this shortage. Here’s how you can effectively manage staffing shortages in the healthcare industry

Tackle Working Conditions

At the end of the day, healthcare workers are still employees and need a sustainable and supportive working environment. It is important to tackle working conditions and regularly address healthcare professionals’ needs to ensure that they are safe and cared for as employees. Healthcare institutions must value their skills and encourage growth.

According to research, health care workers experience burnout relative to high turnover rates and absenteeism due to sickness, relative ineffectiveness in the workplace, as well as low job satisfaction. They already deal with high levels of psychosocial stressors during work. Therefore, more than just monitoring performance, ensure they are engaged, well-compensated, and not overworked or burned out.

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Moreover, various circumstances may significantly affect healthcare demands. During these times, healthcare staff must feel they have room to adjust and are supported during challenging phases. As skill sets and capabilities shift, develop strategies to reskill the existing workforce and strengthen the talent pipeline with new professional development pathways and partnerships.

Create and Customize Retention Strategies

In a survey cited by Forbes in 2022, around 31 percent of clinicians globally have plans to leave their current roles within the next couple of years. This means healthcare institutions need to develop retention strategies better to avoid exacerbating the problems of staff shortages. 

Developing engagement programs, offering timely incentives to the staff, and providing them opportunities to grow and advance their career can significantly help in making employees stay. More so, it is important to listen to clinicians’ and healthcare staff’s needs. 

With the heavy workload they deal with from day to day, increased pay, additional time off, reduced on-call, and paid sabbaticals are key retention factors to improving retention for physicians and healthcare practitioners. Evaluate their current work setup and conduct discussions and surveys to know what would help them perform better. It is best to tailor an approach that fits your staff, rather than throwing in random programs they do not actually need. 

Create Your Own Solutions

Traditional healthcare systems have been saving lives for a long time, but this does not mean they can’t be improved. With today’s advanced technology solutions, institutions use various tools and systems to strengthen their strategies to mitigate staff shortages. Innovative solutions today can help ensure people can access care, advice, and order medication online, relieving pressure on staff.

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Solutions like Electronic Health Records or EHR systems are also effective in easing the operational workload for healthcare staff. If you’ve ever asked yourself what is EHR? These systems give healthcare workers access to an organized system of patient data. 

Optimizing Operations

This frees some headspace eliminating the need to memorize or use the manual, error-prone processes of recording all names, procedures, and other important patient information. Through EHRs, clinicians can manage patients easier and focus on delivering high-quality treatment.

Additionally, healthcare staff management and collaboration tools are ideal for implementation. Automated notifications and digital communications can speed up the staff’s correspondence, enabling them to deliver fast and accurate treatment to patients.

Hospitals and healthcare institutions can implement a combination of solutions that fits their staff’s needs. They can even aim to fully digitize their facilities to maximize the benefit of modern technology and provide their staff with the assistance they need, even in the smallest ways possible, like eliminating the paperwork or optimizing operational processes. 

Sufficient Staffing Leads to Efficient Healthcare

Healthcare workers—physicians, clinicians, nurses, and hospital staff—dedicate and risk their lives to provide other people with life-saving care and services. As the global population increases, the demand for healthcare workers is also set to increase. 

Institutions need to adapt and adjust to today’s world and use current solutions available to manage and mitigate staff shortages. They must attract and retain healthcare workers to deliver people’s best patient care. This also means they need to care for their staff and ensure that they are in the best condition to work, ensuring that their needs as employees are provided and working in a safe and sustainable environment.


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