It goes without saying that short staffing in healthcare is a big problem. And it goes way beyond shift coverage on paper. Patients are dependent upon nurses for care and welfare — when a facility falls short on the staffing end, the consequences can be severe. Beyond affecting patient health, it can affect a facility’s standing in the community and affect the financial office, human resources department, and more.
How can your facility combat this? Part of it involves predicting your staffing needs in the future and maintaining the right nurse-to-patient ratio to keep things financially viable. And at the end of the day, getting a medical staffing agency to help is the only reliable way to ensure that your facility doesn’t fall victim to the short staffing nightmare.
Predict Staffing Needs
Take into account what you already know — things like staff taking a vacation, staff taking family or medical leave, etc. And you can safely predict when your busy times and slow times will be. Most facilities see patterns of increased patients during certain times or seasons of the year, like the holidays. So, you can predict these things for the year ahead and try to plan out your staffing as needed. You can’t plan for everything — an outbreak of the flu in your community, for instance — but any little bit helps.
Maintain a Proper Patient-to-Nurse Ratio
Using the predictions that you’ve made based on history and staff absences that you’re already aware of, you can take steps to maintain a proper nurse-to-patient ratio. This means adding more shifts for more nurses when you know you’ll need help, and cutting back during more lenient times — after all, when your patient numbers go down, it’s not always financially sound to keep the same roster of fully salaried nurses on the payroll.
Utilize a Medical Staffing Agency
When it’s all said and done, there’s no surefire way to predict when you’ll need help recovering from a staffing shortage. That’s where medical staffing firms come in. There’s no need for your recruiting department to panic — a highly qualified medical staffing service will be able to provide you with the staff you need on a short-term basis. And those nurses are already vetted, licensed, and certified in every way you need, so there’s truly nothing to worry about.
Ready to see how our medical staffing service can help your facility? Get in touch with BOS Medical to offset your next staffing shortage before it begins.