The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up care at home. In a survey by Axxess and Home Health Care News, 68% of organizations that have seen a decline in revenue cited staffing challenges during the pandemic as the cause.
The average age of a nurse is 51, which is among a generation in which chronic conditions are typically found, making them more vulnerable to the virus and unable to take care of patients. The shortage of nurses caused by the pandemic has been so drastic that many states started allowing non-licensed nursing graduates to assist with patient care.
Staffing can make the difference in an organization’s ability to remain stable and grow after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four Steps to Shake Up and Improve Staffing Operations
Take these four steps to shake up and improve staffing operations:
- Recruit the millennial generation. One in five Americans will be over the age of 65 by 2030. That means the younger generation will have to be included in healthcare staffing plans soon. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the industry anything, it’s that young, healthy clinicians are essential to withstanding future public health emergencies. Recruiting millennials gives organizations more options when scheduling care and can take the burden of difficult cases off older staff who might be unable to provide the specific care needed.
- Promote diversity and inclusion. Once a diverse millennial generation is included, it’s time to listen to their ideas. Thankfully, nearly 80% of organizations surveyed are currently doing so or planning to invest in resources to promote diversity and inclusion within their organizations. At Axxess, the best idea wins. This mantra promotes inclusion among all teams, regardless of position. It’s important to choose the best ideas clinically by considering a wide range of viewpoints from a diverse population. Try creating a cross-functional workforce to serve on different committees. This will make employees feel valued, which will lead to increased retention and more effective recruitment efforts as well.
- Embrace new technology. The national average for Request for Anticipated Payment submission is 12 days, even though the deadline for submission is five days. Paperwork is consistently an area in home health that needs significant improvement. Technology can assist with that. Most organizations prefer to have a nurse or therapist complete all documentation at the bedside. Having technology to complete paperwork immediately at the bedside helps the organization, the clinician and the patient. Look for technology that is easy to use, makes clinical sense, and is efficient to produce timely documentation. Otherwise, clinicians (especially the millennial generation) will struggle to buy into it.
- Consider supplemental staffing. A recent case study examined an organization that expanded into 20 new zip codes and doubled its revenue in six months by using a home health staffing platform. Scheduling weekend visits, which can typically take up to eight hours, can be completed in under 30 minutes with a platform that offers qualified, available clinicians in a specific geographic area. Getting these visits filled faster means that patients can be seen sooner, leading to improved patient outcomes and lower risks of hospital readmission. This supplemental pool of clinicians can also take the heavy workload off full-time staff, giving them time to thoroughly (and not hurriedly) care for patients.
The Patient Comes First
Ultimately, the top priority must be the patient, but proper staffing and quality patient outcomes are undeniably linked. Take these steps to shake up your staffing operations for the better and experience improved patient outcomes, satisfied clinicians and increased revenue.
Axxess Home Health is a cloud-based enterprise home health software that enables clinicians to complete HIPAA-compliant documentation at the point of care. Axxess is available anytime, anywhere, even without internet, making all patient processes quick and efficient.