As a global recession continues to impact all industries, the medical field is increasingly facing its fair share of challenges. There are many ways in which the healthcare industry is affected by a recession, including a reduction in healthcare workers, decreased demand for specific healthcare services, and a vast array of financial problems. Naturally, people have less money during a recession and tend to postpone medical treatments. According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), families often reduce their healthcare expenses during a recession and spend their limited funds only on essential goods and services. Furthermore, healthcare facilities struggle to maintain adequate staffing levels and deliver comprehensive patient care during a recession.
Healthcare facilities that proactively take control of their management, finances, and operations are in the best position to overcome obstacles resulting from a downward economy. From combatting staffing issues to managing the bottom line, there are measures that can be taken to strengthen your facility during a recession while maintaining the quality of patient care. As an expert staffing nurse staffing agency in Georgia, here are five of our top tips on how healthcare facilities can survive a recession.
Let’s Explore these 5 Tips to Survive a Recession Provided by an Expert Nurse Staffing Agency in Georgia
1) Healthcare Staffing Experts Advise to Outsource Services.
Finding opportunities to outsource various services within your healthcare facility is the first step to saving potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars each month. Rather than hire full-time employees to perform various services, many trusted agencies, companies, and contractors can assist with your facility’s financial management and operations. Types of services to consider outsourcing include accounting, marketing, sales, IT management, and administrative tasks. While not every service certainly does not have to be outsourced, it’s advisable to identify at least two or three services that are currently costing your facility the most money in full-time staff. During a recession, outsourcing can be instrumental in saving your facility money and providing access to expert individuals who can provide specialized services at a fixed cost. Furthermore, many healthcare organizations discover that outsourcing services like coding or billing reduce the incidence of errors often made by an in-house team. This directly affects the bottom line, as reducing billing mistakes ensures your facility will get paid more quickly. If you’re unsure of what functions to outsource, consider hiring an outside contractor who can audit your facility’s finances and make outsourcing recommendations.
2) Increase Marketing Efforts to Retain Patients.
One of healthcare leaders’ biggest mistakes during a recession is reducing or eliminating marketing activities. However, it’s essential to ramp up marketing efforts during difficult or uncertain times rather than dial down marketing. Investing in strategic marketing campaigns is a critical part of retaining patients. Many types of marketing tactics engage patients in a positive and meaningful way. Some of the most effective marketing practices to consider (especially during a recession) include email marketing; social media marketing; referral programs; pay-per-click advertising; Google business profiles; and online reviews and reputation management. Additionally, many traditional marketing avenues can target patients, including direct mail, print and broadcast advertising, and monthly newsletters. Identifying channels in which you can educate patients about what your facility offers will keep them informed about your organization’s mission, practice areas, providers, and values as an institution. With patient retention being at the forefront of business growth when times are tough, you can’t afford to maintain a robust marketing presence.
3) Partner with a Medical Staffing and Nursing Agency
With hiring being one of the most substantial costs incurred by healthcare facilities, partnering with a specialized medical and nursing staffing agency can prove to be a smart financial and management decision for many reasons. First, a staffing agency can work closely with your facility to efficiently find the right staff with the medical expertise to fulfill your needs. This alleviates your internal hiring team from spending absorbent amounts of time and financial resources finding the right candidates. Additionally, staffing firms allow facilities to hire talent on a contract basis rather than in a full-time capacity. This provides significant cost savings, eliminating the need to spend funds on full-time salaries, benefits packages, and formal onboarding and training programs. Furthermore, you’ll reduce or eliminate many expenses associated with hirings, such as job board advertising, applicant tracking software, and background checks or screenings. The flexibility offered by staffing firms is what truly makes them an asset to healthcare facilities looking to cut down on costs without sacrificing the quality of management, operational practices, or delivery of patient care. In general, staffing firms lower their clients’ financial risk and increase efficiencies – which is critical for navigating an economic recession. If you haven’t yet explored the benefits of partnering with a staffing agency, now is a good time to start!
4) Be Flexible with Payment Solutions.
It’s important to remember that in a downward economy, your patients are also struggling to make ends meet. Healthcare facilities that show empathy in the form of payment plans tend to better retain existing patients for months and years to come. According to Becker Hospital Review, flexible payment options have many benefits – including increased patient satisfaction, easier and faster payments, and reduced paper waste. In general, providing some level of flexibility with payment solutions helps patients financially and allows them to receive the care they need without feeling stressed about how to pay for it. With many people concerned about their medical needs, flexible payment options can be a game-changer for patient retention and your facility’s bottom line. Healthcare providers can offer many types of payment options, including splitting large balances into installments and automatic recurring payment plans. Depending on your payment processing system, you can implement a payment model that is most appropriate for your facility and patient population.
5) Make Your Healthcare Facility Efficient.
Efficiency is paramount in business, and the healthcare industry is no exception. Identifying ways to increase efficiency at your healthcare facility can save on costs and improve your team’s functions. One major way to improve efficiency involves investing in technology or software streamlining various ongoing functions and services, such as advanced electronic health record (EHR) systems or telemedicine platforms. According to Forbes, advanced technology tools can be used to screen massive amounts of data in just seconds, providing vital information to help hospitals make informed decisions in the future. Other options to increase efficiencies include utilizing staffing firms; outsourcing certain functions (such as coding or billing); providing required staff training and development; and improving management across all departments. Overall, increasing efficiency depends on the areas lacking within your organization and what departments and functions can be improved by making certain adjustments. Investing in technology and talent will improve the way in which your facility functions at its core, ultimately increasing patient satisfaction.
Connect with a Nurse Staffing Agency in Georgia to help you navigate in these uncertain times.
If you’re worried about how a recession will affect your healthcare facility, it’s a good idea to take action now – rather than when it may be too late! BOS Medical, a full-service nurse staffing and temp agency serving healthcare facilities in Georgia, has the proven expertise to handle all your staffing needs. For over 40 years, we’ve built a longstanding reputation for helping healthcare facilities of all types overcome staffing challenges and deliver patient care more efficiently and effectively. Our innovative staffing solutions are always customized to our clients’ needs and goals. Our recruiters will work closely with your facility to identify staffing gaps and provide the best talent for your healthcare professionals. Developing a staffing partnership with BOS Medical can transform your facility and set your workforce up for long-term success, giving your organization the support to remain profitable and productive even during times of economic hardship.
Need help finding qualified nurses and medical professionals for your healthcare facility? Contact BOS Medical, a top medical and nursing staffing agency based in Georgia, and start working with our team of recruiting experts in the new year!