While the most harrowing aspects of the pandemic seem to be behind us, the health sector is still recovering from a severe drop in revenues and employment. COVID-19 upended plans and left healthcare facilities nationwide scrambling to reorganize their day-to-day operations as social distancing became the new norm and providers canceled elective care. Despite the unprecedented disruption, healthcare staffing trends seem to be rebounding. While all healthcare industries had severe declines in employment at the beginning of the pandemic, most had started to trend upward by the summer of 2020, which has largely continued. By the summer of 2022, doctors’ offices, outpatient care centers, and home health care employed more people than they did in February 2020, and hospitals were close behind, within 2% of their pre-pandemic employment level. While health employment in many facilities has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels, employment numbers are still lower than before the pandemic, 0.5% lower than in February 2020. Below, the Healthworks team looks at three healthcare staffing trends facilities of all sizes should have on their radar this year.

Healthcare facilities will enforce COVID-sensitive strategies to help with retention.

Better support systems within the workplace can make a huge difference, especially in the healthcare industry. While sign-on bonuses and inflated salaries have become more normal over the past two years, some healthcare workers say it’s still not enough. Between juggling family time, work responsibilities, and overall wellness, at least three in ten workers have considered leaving the healthcare profession because of burnout. To protect staff and help combat these feelings, healthcare facilities should implement practical interventions, like offering unlimited access to mental health care, showcasing career advancement opportunities, boosting staffing levels, and alleviating safety concerns can all have a positive impact on your employees.

Staffing will rely on data-driven recruitment.

Nursing is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing healthcare profession. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 3 million registered nationally. Because of this influx, the number of new graduates hasn’t been able to keep pace, which will cause severe shortages over the next few years. The pandemic has increased this talent shortage. To close this gap, many institutions rely on per diem nursing, but the number of open jobs for these nurses reached 30,000 in 2020, more than triple the norm. Temporary staffing like that isn’t sustainable, and that means job post-fill rates are critical. Many organizations are turning to data-driven solutions provided by technology. Whether finding applicants through social media or using models to identify regional imbalances, relying on different types of data is essential for a successful recruitment program.

Technology is still a top priority.

Before the pandemic, not many were choosing virtual healthcare visits or telehealth. That all changed in 2020 as lockdowns and social distancing orders swept across the country. The use of telehealth exploded during the pandemic—the CDC found that 95% of health centers reported utilizing it during COVID. For healthcare staffing considerations, this requires fewer resources, and facilities could redistribute clinical support staff to different areas of the system that are short-staffed. Telehealth offers a way to reduce overhead, reach more patients, and deliver care in a safe and convenient environment.

Why Partner With the Healthcare Professionals of Healthworks?

If you’re looking to improve the staffing concern at your healthcare facility, Healthworks is here for you. We provide comprehensive clinical staffing resources and solutions to respond to clients’ ongoing and urgent needs. We supply expert clinical staff coverage for:

Every clinical associate is BLS and/or ACLS certified and credentialed, motivated, and experienced—with years of relevant knowledge. Additionally, Healthworks can also develop and teach clinical education programs and provide a full range of vendor and industry services specifically designed to assist cardiovascular and electrophysiology equipment manufacturers and suppliers. If you’re ready to partner with our cardiovascular healthcare professionals, contact us at 866-HWKS-INC.

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