Maintaining a medical facility, whether in a large metropolis or a minimally populated rural setting, requires a vigilant presence. Many factors go into making your medical facility successful. The most important goal is quality patient care.
Although rather obvious-sounding, quality patient care is the result of the combined efforts of many facets of your medical facility. From administration to those providing hands-on care, a positive outcome for patients and staff alike is achieved by meeting certain key factors in helping your medical facility succeed.
Help Your Medical Facility
Key factors to improving your success as a medical facility are quality of care, cost of care, patient safety, staff turnover, length of stay and vacancy rates. All of these factors can be resolved by administration and every one of these factors is linked to one very important facet of your facility: staff. Understaffing may seemingly improve your bottom line but ultimately has a ripple effect that’s damaging to all aspects of your clinical setting.
By examining each of these key factors you will be able to see how they relate directly to your staffing concerns. Understaffing is dangerous. Asking time and again for your nursing staff to fill in gaps isn’t simply poor management that will result in a high turnover rate, it’s downright negligent considering tired staff may make mistakes which can be extremely detrimental to your patients.
5 Key Factors
Here are some other ways specific aspects of your medical facility are impacted by staffing issues:
Quality and Cost of Care: Hands on quality care is going to improve not only your patient’s satisfaction but also the outcome of their treatment. Carefully selecting and vetting your staff, providing thorough training in the practices and protocols specific to your medical facility and patient population offer an excellent plan to start off on the right foot. Staff who feel appreciated and know that they’re excelling in their duties are more likely to stay, racing your facility’s bottom line, a savings you can pass on to your patients.
Safety: A tired care provider is more apt to make mistakes. Resolve this potential for disaster by making sure you have the right number of care providers to cover each patient, each shift. Proper staffing saves lives!
Length of Stay: No one really enjoys their time spent in a hospital or clinic. And shortened stays, as are preferred by insurers, serve everyone. When your patients receive the utmost in care, provided by your staff physicians and support team, hospital stays can be shorter.m By having and maintaining enough staff to conceive and provide the very best care plan for your patients length of stay can be shortened.
Staff Turnover: Staff turnover is a huge concern for a medical facility of any size. As mentioned proper staffing can have a ripple effect that is apparent in all facets of your facility. When you don’t properly staff your hospital or clinic with quality care providers you run the risk of high turnover rates. Burnout happens quickly as nursing staff is tasked with much more than they can handle. Turnover effects much more than improve patient care: the bottom line of your facility’s budget can be stressed due to additional training hours, the cost of finding replacement personnel, and overtime for existing staff members to cover the gaps.
Vacancy Rates: Much in the way turnover of staff results in diminished patient care, rising vacancy rates in your medical facility, like those all over the country, can gravely impact your success in providing patient care. Secure the right care providers for your medical facility through proper vetting and a thorough interview process. Offer competitive salaries and ensure your staff members won’t be overburdened when there is a shortage.
It can be difficult to predict your patient census, but if you reflect on previous trends you can get an idea. Although overstaffing is a financial concern, it’s not nearly as dangerous as understaffing can be. Here are some ways your medical facility can avoid the downward spiral caused by understaffing:
- Provide coverage for long-term and short-term leave. Schedule staff to cover upcoming maternity leaves, vacations, and scheduled time off.
- Prevent burnout among your staff members. If your nursing staff shortage goes on for too long your regular full-time employees are more prone to burn-out. Of course the overtime pay is designed to compensate for those extra-long shifts, rest is necessary at some point.
- Avoid understaffing over the holidays and summer season when your full-time employees may have plans to relax and enjoy with their families. Provide for coverage during these times.
- The busiest times of the year for your medical facility need to be of concern to administration. It surely would not be a good thing should your peak season find you understaffed.
- Continually be in “hiring mode”. Although this sounds contrary to saving your medical facility time and money, staying ahead of your need for new staff members by staying open to adding to your team is actually a positive move. Take advantage of staffing services and medical recruiting offices to ensure you won’t be caught unable to provide for your patients in the case of a nursing shortage.
Ultimately you are in control of your medical facility and have the ability to help maintain a positive image and patient satisfaction by making sure you have the best staff on board. Today’s healthcare environment is filled with uncertainty. Avoid substandard patient care by ensuring your care providers and staff never fall short.