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Tips for Leveraging Technology to Deal with Staffing Shortages

Almost every healthcare group we talk to mentions staffing as an area of concern right now. With so many people moving, switching careers, or generally ready for a change, turnover is higher than ever for many in the healthcare industry.

Luckily there are some tricks to make the most of a tough situation and still thrive amidst staff shortages.

Use Technology to Hire

If you’re having staffing issues, address that first and foremost by using technology to help with HR functions — especially hiring — if you aren’t already.

There are plenty of tech solutions out there, like Smart Recruiters, for example. When using this technology, the hiring process becomes transparent, and everyone involved can see who’s applying and when applicants come in. It’s quick to filter through to the best candidates and get interviews scheduled.

While making the hiring process easy and efficient is important, you also want to make sure the application process is simple. Don’t make applicants jump through hoops to apply. There are plenty of vacancies right now so put your best foot forward and make the application process as easy as possible. Some recruitment solutions even have a one-click application process. Start there.

Offload the Most Time-Consuming Admin Tasks

When short-staffed, office administrators are in a tough spot because they end up wearing many different hats. And high turnover means more work put into hiring and onboarding, but fewer hands to pitch in.

The question to ask is “how can I expand my efforts?”

The solution is to off-load some of your work.

One of the most obvious tasks to start moving off your plate is your staff training. Training usually falls to the office administrator, but let’s face it — with staffing shortages, an administrator just doesn’t have time to train. And you don’t want a medical assistant or front desk staff doing training. It’s not what they’re best at, and it takes time away from their core responsibilities. Plus, training is important and needs to be done right.

Many companies have training platforms, but MedTrainer’s award-winning software should be at the top of your list. It automates all training needs, like courses for OSHA compliance, CMEs, BLS/ACLS, or even organization-specific materials with a variety of customization options. You’ll also get quick onboarding and a dedicated Account Manager, which is a big reason why we’ve gained a devoted following among our customers.

Whichever platform you choose, start using it immediately to give yourself some breathing room. Yes, setting up the system for your office may take a little time initially, but the right platform will take training off your plate entirely once it’s up and running.

Improve Your Onboarding

Your onboarding process is almost like your practice’s first date with a new hire. The process should be smooth, transparent, and helpful to make a good impression and ensure your new staff member wants to stay.

Your onboarding process may include some or all of these:

  • Office-specific training, which is especially important for front desk staff because they make the first impression on patients!
  • Completion of orientation checklists
  • OSHA training (required to be done within the employee’s first 10 days)
  • Gathering documents to credential new providers
  • Documents and policies that new hires need to review and sign

Gathering needed documents from new providers is one of the most frequently missed steps when onboarding a provider. Prolonging, or even skipping, this step wastes time and money because the provider can’t begin seeing patients and billing insurance until they’re properly credentialed. And as we all know, to get them credentialed you need all those documents from the provider.

The reality is it can be difficult to make sure every new hire completes all these tasks, and it can be nearly impossible to also make the process engaging and helpful for the new staff member or provider.

This is where technology comes in.

MedTrainer has a cloud-based onboarding system that provides training and automates every step of the onboarding process, specific to individual roles. Once your new hire is entered into the system (or recognized through one of our integrations), they’re assigned courses to complete, documents to review and sign, and asked to upload any needed information.

Once you start using the system, you’ll never want to go back. Automation means it’s hands-off for you, and staff members complete the process faster.

Remember, You Can Outsource

When you’re short-staffed, use every tool available and outsource what you can. We recommend starting with these functions:

  • Recruiting
  • HR
  • Training, whether that’s OSHA training, CMEs, or organization-specific training
  • Credentialing

Outsourcing this work will save time and help you get more done, yes, but letting experts handle these areas frequently also means it will be done better. Most healthcare administrators or providers didn’t go to school for credentialing or providing OHSA training, right?

Be smart with your resources and hand off those tasks to professionals.

Keep in mind outsourcing is almost always more cost-effective than bringing on another staff member to handle the work. When you work with MedTrainer, for example, for a low monthly price you’ll get the brainpower and efforts of our whole team, one dedicated Account Manager to keep communication streamlined, plus an ingenious automated system for training, credentialing, compliance, or any combination of those.

Outsource to let your staff and providers be fully in their genius zone. And you’ll be able to move the needle further when you’re not spending 20 hours a week on HR, credentialing, and training.

Automation is Your Friend

When you have a bigger group, start automating tasks as much as possible. A great place to begin is with employee onboarding. If you’re spending half of your day chasing down people for documents or signatures or reminders about training, this is for you.

We know from experience that while chasing after people might increase your step count, it’s not great for getting home at a reasonable time.

Think outside the box with automation.

One way MedTrainer automates for our customers is with course assignments. Our customers can automate training by role, assigning different groups of courses to different positions. For example, front desk staff would have different courses than your billers. And your medical assistants should have different course assignments than your physicians.

MedTrainer streamlines the process so each staff member is assigned the right courses automatically. You don’t even have to think about it.

MedTrainer also automates the distribution of policies and procedures, and requests electronic signatures. Here are examples of documents our customers can automatically send to new hires, or anyone in their group:

  • HIPAA manuals
  • Employee manuals
  • New COVID policies
  • Disaster preparedness policies
  • And any kind of group-specific policies or procedures

Automatically send these types of documents to employees for review and electronic signature as part of the onboarding process. They’ll get friendly reminders to complete tasks and you won’t have to worry about it.

Streamline Management of Multiple Locations

When you have multiple locations, the goal is typically to have everyone working in the same optimized way. Of course, this is easier said than done.

To make the dream a reality, it’s important to be able to train consistently and distribute the same policies across all of your locations. Then you need to track and measure completed trainings, who has reviewed policies, and how each location is staffed.

But who has the time or personnel to do all that?!

True, it’s difficult when you’re doing it on your own. But MedTrainer specializes in this methodology. Our system tracks and reports location-specific metrics for you.

The result is transparency. You can easily see if one location is outperforming another, and what factors may contribute to that. Perhaps one location has high turnover. Using a digital onboarding solution like MedTrainer that’s specifically designed for healthcare, you can see what’s happening in each location and how you can improve.

Online Solutions Enable Flexibility

If there’s something we’ve all learned in the past couple of years, it’s that flexibility is key. Great online tools can help you be more flexible, even when short staffed.

Prevent stress when a staff member quits. We’re in a high-turnover environment now, with people switching jobs and even transitioning to new careers. While it’s a little scary to think about, your in-house credentialing expert, or another admin expert, could leave.

If that person’s work is all on paper, or in an Excel spreadsheet, it’s going to be very difficult for you or someone else to pick up where they left off. Yikes.

An online platform like MedTrainer lets you transition the work to a new team member easily. Or hand credentialing over to us entirely — we’ll take it from there.

Continue work, even from home. As we all know by now, sometimes it’s necessary to quarantine at home or work outside of the office for a time. Credentialing or compliance work can be impossible to do from home when you’re working with a paper system. And in-person training becomes impossible when staff members are at home.

But when your compliance documents and training materials are stored with an online system like MedTrainer, staff and practitioners can complete tasks even when they’re working remotely.

Be ready for accidents and disasters. What if something unexpected happens, like a fire or flood or earthquake? Or what if someone simply loses a crucial document or accidentally deletes an Excel file? Using technology to manage all of your compliance and administrative work ensures policies and procedures, disaster preparedness plans, SDSs, or whatever else you need, are always available under any circumstance.

MedTrainer is the only healthcare compliance system that would help in all those scenarios, but however you create your technology support system, having that in place will make you better off when the unexpected happens.

What to Look for in a Tech Solution?

There are a couple of factors that make the best technology solutions stand out from the rest. Cut ties from technology that’s just not working, and seek new options that truly make a difference.

All-in-one Platform

The biggest thing to look for is an all-in-one platform. No one wants to be jumping between 15 different technologies to do the job. That ends up taking almost as much time as doing it all manually. Healthcare groups already have their EMR program, their billing program, and it’s annoying to think of adding on more systems on top of that. So look for the most comprehensive platform you can find to reduce friction and stress.

 

MedTrainer is the only all-in-one healthcare compliance software, so it’s a natural fit for a wide variety of businesses. You can use the whole platform, or choose individual tools based on your specific needs and budget.

Consulting

It’s also good to have a tech solution that comes with excellent customer support. Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time!) it helps to have a consultant for tough questions, especially when talking about compliance or credentialing.

Processes can be very specific to your state or payer, so it’s crucial to deal with a company that has the support in place to assist you individually with these complicated issues.

Get quick answers to your toughest credentialing and compliance questions when working with MedTrainer. You get access to our whole team via one point of contact so communication is always a breeze. Yes, the tech is exceptional, but sometimes you just want to talk it through with a person. MedTrainer understands that and we’re ready for you.

MedTrainer is a leader in the healthcare compliance industry, offering the all-in-one compliance solution for healthcare groups of every size. One of our experts can guide you through your unique challenges and formulate a package to give you the most value for your budget. Click here to start the conversation.