Signs Your Facility is Short-Staffed
All medical facilities experience a shortage of staff at one time or another due to waves of illness during the winter months. With the beginning of COVID-19, staff shortages became much more prevalent, and the demand for nursing staff and other healthcare workers is in much higher demand. As of November of 2020, it was reported that more than 1,000 hospitals across the United States were critically short on staff. Unfortunately, the demand for healthcare workers is only expected to increase over the next several years. It is projected that by the year 2026, there will be a need for an additional 200,0000 nurses. If you are experiencing these signs your facility is short-staffed, it is imperative that you do everything necessary to fill positions.
Frequent errors are being made
As a result of your staff being overworked, frequent mistakes are bound to occur. A shortage of help means that staff will be rushing to accomplish all of the necessary tasks. This also means that small details will fall through the cracks, errors will be made and patients will become unsatisfied. Unfortunately, if the mistakes are more frequent and more serious, such as a mistake in medication or misdiagnosis, legal ramifications may result. To avoid consistent errors, it may be necessary to redistribute your staff’s shifts. As staff shortages are happening across the country, you will need to prioritize the positions that must be filled. This way, you can decide on the staff that you will need to hire in order to run more efficiently.
Staff members are burned out
If you notice your staff asking for more days off, are short-tempered with coworkers or patients and constantly seem tired, then you may be dealing with staff burnout. This can lead to increased turnover, and it may be challenging to hire or keep staff. In this case, it may be beneficial to use a staffing agency for temporary or long-term gaps. Tinkbird can be a valuable resource if you are looking to fill multiple open positions quickly.
READ: 4 Tips for Combatting Physician Burnout in Your Facility
Complaints are being made
As staff becomes more overworked, they will have less time to give quality care to patients. This will become apparent as patients will feel ignored or complain about the cleanliness of the facility. They may also note any errors that are being made. In extreme cases, the patients may start to complete tasks on their own, which is a risk to their safety and can become a legal risk. Quality care and ensuring your patients’ and staff members’ safety should be your top priorities. Look at your budget to see where it is feasible to hire additional staff. You may need to reduce spending in other areas to allow for new hires.
Injuries in the workplace are becoming common
When a facility is short on staff members, the current employees will struggle to handle the workload. This means that they may take on tasks that they are not equipped to handle. As a result, more injuries will occur. Of course, this means that those who are injured may be unable to work for a time, causing a further staff shortage. It can also pose legal problems for staff members becoming injured on the job.
Staff is requesting more help
If an increasing number of staff members are coming to requesting assistance, it is worth looking into. If they are concerned about not completing tasks or are feeling stressed or overworked, you need to seek solutions. When your employees are consistently tired, they will not be able to perform their duties well, which will reflect poorly on the facility. Realize that your staff knows the current situation of the facility, so you can trust that they know what is needed for them to do their jobs properly.
READ: Ways to Ensure Physician Coverage for Your Facility
Finding quality healthcare staffing
All healthcare facilities experience staff shortages at one point or another. It is especially common at this time due to COVID-19. It is crucial to know the signs that your facility is struggling with a shortage of staff so you can take action to rectify the situation. You may not be able to solve the issue immediately. Still, taking steps will help ensure that fewer incidents occur, protecting your facility’s reputation as well as your staff and patients.
If your facility is experiencing any of the above signs your facility is short-staffed, contact us today.