As we bid good riddance to the stress and uncertainty of 2020, it is safe to say that everyone is excited to begin the new year. However, the challenges of last year have helped to guide growth, both personal and professional. That is why it is more important than ever to use the start of 2021 as a time for reflection and evaluation, determining how to further improve upon a foundation forged in the chaos of the pandemic.
Many healthcare leaders believe that the term “minimum staffing” is the result of performance improvement initiatives aimed at doing more with less. It is actually a critical component of any department’s operations and should be considered in all productivity strategies and staffing-based decisions. Minimum staffing levels indicate the number of manhours across each job code category in a department, regardless of patient census or workload, necessary to operate safely and efficiently.
In these trying and unstable times, one thing has been evident; people have the innate ability to rise to a challenge with #positivity and professionalism. More than ever, it is critical that #healthcare leaders recognize the contributions and sacrifices their staff are making to ensure the health of the communities they live in and the prosperity of the organizations they serve. The ALTIUS team focuses on educating and elevating our clients, encouraging them to support each other by celebrating their #successes.
Many healthcare leaders adopt a "tough love" approach when managing employee performance and expectations. This method may work well for some staff members, but not all will embrace the negativity it can create. Understanding your team and the styles they respond positively to is critical in realizing continued operational success and employee satisfaction.
According to a recent article, the turnover rate in the healthcare industry has increased by 5% across all job categories over the last decade. With the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operations of hospitals and health systems, it is safe to assume that these rates will continue to rise. Considering how time-consuming and costly recruitment efforts can be, especially given the ever-shrinking candidate pool that presently exists, it is critical that healthcare leaders appropriately manage the employees that they do have.
What does "Best Practice" mean in the healthcare environment? Just as in any other field, "Best Practice" is the commitment to using all the knowledge, processes, data, and technology at one's disposal to ensure success. However, let's take that one step further and note that this success must be realized in the most efficient manner possible to make a difference to your organization's bottom line. Controlling costs through the proper utilization of resources and minimization of waste are ways that hospitals and health systems are achieving "Best Practice" status.
Healthcare is a demanding industry. There are a LOT of emotions associated with each experience, from the high highs of saving a life to the low lows of losing one. In recent months due to the COVID-19 crisis, healthcare professionals have endured mentally and physically grueling work conditions never before experienced.
The U.S. Healthcare System is currently wasting an estimated $765 Billion (23% of what is spent) per year due to inefficient operations! Surprisingly, the majority of this waste is not being generated by pricing failures and supply chain issues, but through workflow and labor management deficiencies.
When the ALTIUS team has an initial conversation regarding performance improvement with a hospital’s senior leaders, they are often unsure of what led to their current financial challenges. The reality is that it is never one decision, one hire, or one situation that deteriorates an organization’s bottom line. It can be the choices made day-to-day within the silos of the organizational structure, delaying difficult decisions, and/or a lack of accountability that leads to the overall decline.
Any healthcare consultant that focuses on productivity will tell you the mixed reactions received when sharing that you have been engaged to improve performance. Why are we, as an industry, conditioned to fear a word that brings value, accountability, and increased efficiencies to hospitals and health systems? Historically speaking, productivity was synonymously linked to a reduction in force or layoff. It is no wonder that just the mention of it could send panic across an organization, especially if previous experiences have left staff feeling lost, defeated, and defensive.