The global nursing workforce is in need of an infusion of nurses — and fast. Reports show that there is a shortage of 5.9 million nurses and another 4 million are expected to retire within the next 10 years. Such a shortage spells disaster for the patient care settings that rely on them.
In the United States there is a high number of their population that is over the age of 65 and as the population ages, the need for health services increases. This threatens to put pressure on the healthcare system as a whole and patients will pay the price.
The healthcare staffing shortage has made it more difficult for facilities, especially the post-acute facilities, to sufficiently staff their departments. Insufficient staffing, especially in post-acute care, is increasing the stress of the nursing role. Research carried out by surveying 1,000 healthcare professionals showed that 28% had quit a job because of burnout despite loving the work they do.
There are several issues that, if solved, could allow a greater number of nurses to enter the field each year and increase the retention rates. Nurses cite increased stress, burnout and lack of a healthy work-life balance as some of the reasons they leave their profession.
That’s where technology comes in. Mobile apps and scheduling technology can improve the healthcare experience. This, in turn, can help reduce turnover, improve retention, and perhaps even lessen the impact of the nursing shortage.
The Power of the Mobile Movement
Much like ride-hailing apps, like Uber and Lyft, have used mobile technology to disrupt the traditional taxi industry, mobile healthcare staffing apps have the potential to upend the traditional healthcare scheduling methods. In both cases, mobile applications allow for more efficient operations as they use smart technology to pair consumers with rides and nurses with shifts, respectively.
If you can harness push notifications and text messages, then you have an excellent opportunity to capture your target audience’s attention. For example, on average Americans check their mobile phones 344 times per day.
Mobile staffing apps can keep healthcare workers more connected to their jobs. Through data-learning, mobile technology can study staff member’s behavior (their preferred shifts) and tailor push notifications to alert them when an open shift becomes available. Therefore, healthcare staff won’t just think about picking up shifts with agencies when they need cash. They’ll be alerted about available shifts on a regular basis, keeping them engaged and looking for more work.
Scheduling Technology Encourages Flexible Work Practices
Typically, if you’re part of the clinical or non-clinical staff working for a hospital, you’re mandated to work a certain number of hours, nights and/or weekends a month. On top of that, staff are often asked to stay on for an extra shift if the next rotation’s staff is light or another staff member calls off. That said, there’s very little control healthcare staff has over their schedule — and by extension, their life.
With facility augmented scheduling technology, staff provide their most ideal schedule to meet their families’ and personal needs while the scheduling technology optimizes these schedules in coordination with their other colleague’s availability. Additionally, shift management technology allows for a streamlined process so that healthcare staff are able to switch shifts with their colleagues for times when they can’t make it for a particular shift.
Ultimately, these benefits lead to fewer call-offs, increased staff retention, enhanced job satisfaction and an easier job for healthcare managers. If you can increase the happiness of the entire healthcare department from management to individual staff, there will be less burnout and fewer clinical and non-clinical staff leaving the profession.
The Future Is Here
There’s a lot that needs to be done to combat the healthcare staff shortage including raising the pay and improving staff experience as that is an essential step to recruiting healthcare workers and keeping them in the profession. Better experiences in every healthcare setting can improve retention and, hopefully, at the very least, stop the loss of healthcare staff from the field each year.
Find out how CliniShift helps solve the current healthcare staffing shortages and improves staff experience.