As the industry continues to face a number of challenges with staffing and reducing healthcare costs, hiring the right nurses and staff members is among the highest priority for many hospitals and health systems.
Nurse-patient ratio legislation has required many health systems to ensure they are scheduling enough staff to provide high-quality care to patients. Employing the right number of staff and acquiring experienced workers is becoming increasingly essential, especially as more patients enter the health system.
Administrative challenges are also on the increase, and as such, it is vital that organizations are employing the right staff to combat these issues. Unlike other industries such as manufacturing, healthcare organizations do not have to suffer nurse or worker layoffs to meet financial needs. Workforce Management Solutions can help to alleviate risks by ensuring the right employees are hired for the job. Because issues can still happen after the initial hiring process, healthcare payroll software helps enable CNOs and administrators to streamline human resources and payroll processes, further optimizing the workforce.
In fact, data-driven hiring and management continues to be the direction the human resource community is heading, and the healthcare community can take advantage of the ongoing trend to use healthcare IT in the talent acquisition process.
Data improves the recruiting process
According to human resources site TLNT, employers are seeing a need to utilize IT in the hiring process to ensure they employ the right candidates. Yet data-driven recruitment does not stop when a new nurse or staff member comes onboard. It also allows the recruiter to anticipate future issues and can be particularly effective if it is used to track salaries and benefits after workers become employed. According to TLNT, utilizing worker data helps human resource departments and administrators to notice any vulnerability among the application pool.
The site advised executives to understand that active recruitment can help organizations forecast any recruitment challenges, as well as when employees may retire. In fact, with the medical community moving increasingly toward healthcare IT solutions and the need to be tech-savvy, talent management solutions allow recruiters to identify if a prospective nurse or staff member has the technical knowledge required to advance within the organization or if older workers may need training in new systems.
Becker’s Hospital Review suggests health system decision-makers identify high-risk hiring areas. This would include whether there are many experienced nurses ready to retire, and a need for younger workers to be trained to do high-skill tasks. During the recruitment process, data allows administrators and human resource professionals to establish a strategy that can improve the health system’s bottom line while still combating a talent shortage.
Technology shows where costs can be cut
When administrators also utilize payroll solutions, they can determine how much of a raise the health system can afford to give a promoted nurse or employee when they take on additional duties. This can improve the hospital’s expenses and provide human resource professionals with information on the organization’s talent pipeline and future staffing needs. According to Becker’s, administrators should keep up to date on employee engagement and skill levels to determine if the health system needs to invest in worker training, such as in electronic health records (EHRs) or proper patient care documentation. This may help CNOs and administrators determine if the health system needs to acquire new talent, which can increase costs, or if it needs to adjust its employment strategy.
With many baby boomers reaching retirement age, and the medical community already facing a shortage of care workers, investing in talent management and human resource payroll solutions allows-decision makers to combat the challenges. When there are enough nurses and physicians on staff, worker burnout decreases, patient safety increases and the health system can see improvements in worker performance.
Magnet® is a prestigious designation, but the Magnet journey, which is the path hospitals take to earning Magnet status, can be challenging. Hospitals with Magnet status share several, desirable characteristics among their workforce. Chief among them are engaged and highly satisfied nurses. Achieving these characteristics doesn’t just happen; it requires making workforce management an organizational priority.
Focus on nurses. Human resources technology can be used to fully understand the role and position of nursing within an organization. By recognizing and rewarding good nursing talent, organizations foster a positive work environment where staff is fully engaged in the delivery of high quality care.
Advocate for employees. Understanding the vision and incorporating it into the strategic plan is important. Staffing and scheduling, human resources, payroll and patient classification technology all work together to support a positive, empowered working environment.
Demonstrate commitment to empowerment. Self-scheduling tools allow employees to control their own work/life balance and demonstrate trust between employer and employee. Mentoring and role development are also important.
Demonstrate commitment to professional development. Employees should be made to feel like they control their own professional destiny. Encouraging a culture of safety gives employees pride in ownership of their organization’s quality care goals and metrics. Self-service competency testing and management also gives employees more autonomy over their professional development.
Don’t settle for the status quo. Keep innovating. Technology continues to evolve and so should healthcare organizations. Evidence-based practices get better with innovation. Organizations should invest in research and leverage their workforce management tools to the fullest extent. Tapping into integrated technology ensures complete optimization of the workforce.
It goes without saying that prioritizing the workforce is something that doesn’t just benefit hospitals seeking to achieve Magnet status. In this new accountable care-focused environment, engaged, satisfied and highly qualified nursing talent is critical to long-term success.
GE Healthcare is proud to serve many clients with Magnet status. These clients have made workforce management a priority by investing in technology that supports strategies that focus on managing, developing and deploying the healthcare workforce. Hospitals with successful workforce management strategies may realize many benefits, such as attracting and retaining top talent, experiencing low turnover rates, improving patient care metrics, reducing labor costs and elevating staff satisfaction.