Healthcare IT Staffing – The Wave of the Future for the Industry
Healthcare with high volume, and low staff
Healthcare and the varied aspects of coverage have been a hotly-debated topic in America for some time now. The public is in favor of having universal coverage, and laws like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are significant steps toward that reality. However, the realities of such actions are far more complicated than most realize. With the aging of one of the largest populations of generation known and the sudden addition of coverage for millions, the healthcare system is not prepared for the strain. Coverage for all is a wonderful concept on paper, but in reality has created a situation that few realize. The demand for nurses, physicians, healthcare workers, and allied professionals became a fever-pitch with the passing of the ACA. Ever more individuals are required to fill the needs of a population that is now capable of seeking medical aid and not fear the immediate costs. Add to that the natural ending of careers from existing staff and doctors, and we have quite literally an exponential increase in demand for healthcare, and a worrisome lack of ability to provide.
The four primary concerns of the ACA for healthcare staffing are new patients, prolonged demand for care, cost containment, and the logistics of healthcare. The ACA added coverage for approximately 20 million new patients, each with diverse backgrounds and unique medical needs. These can range from minor abrasions and allergies to costly and significant diagnoses. The sudden increase of 20 million customers in any industry would be staggering, and the healthcare system is put in a difficult position by the influx of so many new needs. This expands beyond hospitals and clinics. Care can include the need for therapists, technicians, technologists, and other supplementary staff that goes far beyond nurses and doctors. A significant shortage of capable individuals in healthcare has been an ongoing issue for years, and this demand only exacerbates the issue. One study claimed that in 2014 nearly a half-million jobs in healthcare went unfilled. This includes the obvious gaps in both care and administration. People are needed not only to provide care, but to ensure that the healthcare facilities continue to operate smoothly. This includes technicians and mechanics to handle the equipment and systems so physicians can focus on healthcare.
Each of the new cases being added to the healthcare system can be something simple as the occasional infection or cold. Those are simple issues to be addressed and taken care of. Unfortunately, just as likely are the possibilities of those with ongoing chronic illnesses. These patients deserve no difference in the quality of their care, but involve massive differences in the level of care required. Patients can incur ongoing care needs, creating long-range obligations to maintain coverage and the skills of competent staff. Conversely, the healthcare system is not an endless source of funding. In order to make the ACA viable, the government that is supporting this program must also find ways to curtail financial hemorrhage. Cutting costs wherever possible is no longer a goal, it has become required. Thus the industry of healthcare is increasingly stressed to maintain quality for an incredible increase while trying to spend only the minimum possible.
Applying new staffing solutions
The idea of staffing companies is often relegated to temporary low-skilled labor to perform janitorial duties, or receptionists that are laughably inept. Regardless of how this stereotype has begun, it is far from applicable today. The workforce today has evolved to diverse influences such as the high competition for high-skilled individuals, and even the on-demand workforce using apps like Uber for various fields. While such has proven highly beneficial to the worker, businesses have that option as well. Staffing companies are the ‘Uber’ for companies, offering the ability to hire individuals on an as-needed basis. Not simply for low-level employment, but at any given level of expertise.
The healthcare industry is no different from others in the logistics. You need skilled workers to perform specific tasks. Physicians and nurses are skilled and trained in the treatment of patients. However, they are not specifically trained to handle the interaction of systems, and can be bogged down by paperwork. Staffing companies offer office staff that can come in and handle the aspects that are not as easily done by others. This can range from the technicians that maintain the equipment, systems operators that maintain the security and efficacy of how your systems interact, or office staff that is vetted and quite capable to maintain files. An office runs on being able to depend on individuals to perform well, and maintain organization. As the work pools become more divided, the demand for them continues to increase. Thanks to the ACA, such has grown exponentially. Staffing companies are available with remarkable flexibility. Staff can be hired short-term until you can find an individual you prefer to hire directly, or for longer periods to lend their expertise on a more consistent fashion.
Individuals that were educated and skilled in healthcare are focused on that aspect of a business. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for their patients. This creates a gap in skill when it comes to running an office. Many healthcare institutions would benefit from the addition of staff from a third party. Just as doctors and nurses are skilled in that aspect, staffing companies offer skilled and experienced specialists in many different areas. Their skills allow healthcare workers to do what they are trained for.