Providers deserve technology that lets them focus on patients.
If you’ve been to the hospital or doctor’s office lately, you’ve encountered a healthcare system in crisis. This might sound a bit hyperbolic, but hear me out.
Chances are you’ve experienced long wait times for routine medical appointments, delays in securing hospital beds for emergency room patients, difficulty scheduling surgeries or even minor procedures, incredibly unsatisfying engagement and follow-up, and harried, overworked staff.
The healthcare workforce doesn’t have enough people to meet demand. In the short term, the situation may only get worse. According to a recent report, 34% of nurses surveyed planned to leave the field by the end of 2022, McKinsey projects a shortage of up to 450,000 nurses by 2025.
Consumption outstrips supply
The healthcare industry has been headed for a course correction for a while. A large, aging baby boomer population accessing healthcare at an incredible pace, coupled with a scarcity of healthcare workers, has resulted in more people needing care than those who can provide it. With mass resignations of overstressed healthcare workers during the pandemic, the imbalance morphed into a full-grown crisis.
In short, healthcare consumption outstrips supply. But, unlike most industries, healthcare can’t control consumption. It’s not affected by pricing or weather. Instead, healthcare organizations need to grow their labor supply and remove unnecessary burden from existing staff. One way to do this is to focus on technological innovations that will attract talent to the healthcare profession.
Attracting new talent
Talent acquisition is one of the biggest challenges that healthcare organizations face. Most organizations are embracing short-term fixes, such as higher compensation and bonuses. Another effort is underway to expand the labor pool by increasing the number of students entering the profession, which takes time.
Healthcare profit margins have been squeezed by the rising cost of labor. When more than a quarter of the workforce is turning over, organizations see their bottom lines directly affected by increased compensation and associated costs.
Some healthcare providers are recognizing this as a time of opportunity and are embracing an integrated approach to engage, attract, and retain talent. These companies are investing in the employee experience as a seamless journey, starting with recruiting, continuing through ramp-up and the ongoing work experience, and culminating with offboarding.
Automated workflows help employees avoid tedious paperwork and administrative tasks and get to the heart of why they are in healthcare—to provide compassionate care.
Creating emotional connections
Progressive healthcare leaders are focused on providing great experiences that immerse employees from the start. This means using intuitive tech solutions to create an emotional connection with the employee and predict their needs.
Many healthcare leaders are realizing that technology can also play a significant role in the continuity of care. It enables them to put their best cultural foot forward, immediately integrating new employees into the culture and enabling them to be productive from day one. Automated workflows help employees avoid tedious tasks and get to the heart of why they are in healthcare—to provide compassionate care.
Want to understand what a great employee experience looks like at your organization? Start with your employees. Get their feedback through interviews and surveys, including exit surveys. Do they understand what they are expected to do on day one? Do they have the resources to do it? Are they distracted by tasks such as benefits enrollment, payroll and training?
The more you listen, the better you can provide your employees with the solutions and experiences that will keep them engaged and make them want to stay.
Decouple people and processes
Technology can remove process bottlenecks and deliver a shared experience; it can also help orgs decouple people and processes. This is particularly important in light of high turnover rates in healthcare.
When you separate people from processes, institutional knowledge stays with the organization even when an employee does not. Instead of building systems around a transient workforce, organizations can protect themselves by creating systems that are easily accessed and understood by new employees. This, in turn, improves retention and fosters strong emotional connections between healthcare companies and employees.
By investing in innovative tech, leaders can create a virtuous cycle—one that delivers emotional value for its people by making every day easier to manage, which in turn increases employee loyalty and quality of care.
The result? Happier employees and healthier patients.