Shifting Your Healthcare Staffing Strategies in the Wake of COVID-19


As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic starts to wane, administrators face a constant mode of re calibration as they strike a delicate balance between delivering the same level of care to all patients, including those impacted by COVID-19 , and the catastrophic revenue shortfalls of the second quarter. Rarely have healthcare operators faced such a daunting operating environment, maintaining continuity of care while adhering to emerging safety and regulatory guidelines, all against a backdrop of uncertain resurgence.

Call it a dichotomy or an operational conundrum; but this is the ask of our stretched healthcare delivery system, while simultaneously being charged with ramping up dormant clinical service lines to stop the financial bleeding.

Actionable Strategies for the Way Forward

The good news, unlike other economic downturns, we believe there is a light signaling imminent recovery with the return of elective programs, and non-emergent surgical procedures, beginning in weeks and not months. In fact, some states in Phase 1 have begun these measures across the country.

Yes, that seems aspirational amid daily reports of unprecedented national unemployment rates, and when healthcare publications such as Becker’s Hospital Review, and Fierce Healthcare cited hundreds of healthcare systems had announced their intent to furlough and lay off staff to remain financially stable for the balance of 2020.

Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Accelerated Advanced Payment Program’s government aid package of $175 billion has been a welcomed and very necessary bridge loan for many hospitals, it is just that – a loan, and it will not pave the way to a sustainable long term operational panacea.

It seems ironic, but many in the healthcare arena believe the best way to offset the billions of financial losses compounded by suspended elective services, increased supply chain expenditures for PPE, medical equipment, and technology enhancements is to get our healthcare professionals back to work delivering care as expediently as possible.

To do that, healthcare leaders will need actionable talent acquisition and workforce management solutions that will support their ability to adeptly budget and pivot to their fluctuating staffing requirements. These customized programs can also provide guidance to navigate unplanned deviations, which should be expected in the new normal.

We believe that at the core of navigating this new operating environment is our healthcare workforce, as well as a malleable staff management strategy that can move as the market dynamics dictate, and the hospital finances will allow. Solutions that will likely include a combination of both contingent labor and core staff that can flex as needed.

While each skilled nursing facility, integrated delivery network, acute care facility, rural and community healthcare center has its own unique set of hurdles, the one constant requirement is that qualified healthcare staff is needed to deliver these services.

empty hospital bed

Jackson Nurse Professionals’ Progressive Solutions

As a subsidiary of one of the nation’s largest healthcare staffing and technology companies, Jackson Nurse Professionals and the Jackson Healthcare family of companies has demonstrated the ability to deliver scalable workforce management and healthcare staffing solutions by swiftly mobilizing and deploying thousands of clinicians across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is with this same expertise; Jackson Nurse Professionals will work diligently with each our clients to objectively assess what flexible core and contingent staff options can be leveraged to provide solutions aligned to short and long-term staffing situations.

While we expect that demand for healthcare staff across all service lines will become stronger, we also understand that many of the healthcare providers that furloughed and laid off core clinical staff cannot financially justify rehiring full time employees, amid operational volatility, and the specter of COVID-19 being omnipresent.

We believe that our healthcare providers will need to work with agile business partners, like Jackson Nurse Professionals, who can offer flexible transitional clinical staffing solutions that include, but are not limited to fixed and flexible term contract assignments, national travel assignments, as well as contract-to hire programs.

If you or your organization is seeking guidance on how to navigate these unprecedented times, contact me today and I’ll follow-up with the solutions you need.

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