A Game-Changing StrategyRead Time: 3 minutes
There is no question that small hospitals struggle with workforce shortages. The physician-to-patient ratio in rural communities is a staggering 1 to 2,500. And the deficit doesn’t just extend to physicians. Small hospitals can have a hard time retaining all staff, from admissions staff to nurses. But with the shift to value-based care, reducing inefficiencies while still improving outcomes is more vital than ever. For the rural hospital, a staffing company can be a gamechanger.
The challenge: recruitment to rural areas
Even though 20% of the population lives in rural areas, small hospitals struggle to retain adequate staffing. The challenges often come down to recruiting to rural locations of the country. Though these communities can be in beautiful parts of the country and working at a small hospital has many benefits, there is glitz and glamor associated with working in the city. However, staffing companies can change the game for rural hospitals.
Whether on a temporary or full-time basis, using hospitalists in the emergency department can be another gamechanger for rural hospitals. With smaller workforces, physicians are often asked to wear many hats. For example, primary care providers take turns rounding on patients in the ED, even after spending full days in the outpatient setting. Hospitalists, however, are specifically focused on coordinating care for patients in the hospital. Research has shown that having hospitalists improves patient satisfaction and reduces strain on primary care providers, leading to better employee retention.
Remote case management
Remote staffing can be key to cost savings. The overhead of a remote case management team is much lower than the overhead of having 24/7 case management in-house. These teams help to improve care coordination while lowering costs. The result is also a reduced strain on full-time staff and improved employee retention.
Bridging the staffing gap
Finding solutions for rural hospitals is extremely important. These facilities often provide healthcare to underserved populations and can’t afford to shut down. In the face of a workforce shortage, the small hospital can benefit significantly from working with staffing companies to help bridge the gap.