Reduce agency staff spend by offering better care worker welcome
By Nitzan Yudan, CEO at Benivo on October 30, 2017
Filed under Health
|Focus on: The Power and Promise of Digital Health
Spending on agency staff is reaching an all-time high, and with governments applying pressure to reduce outgoings, this creates a big challenge for the healthcare industry. Moreover, a drop in the quality of patient care creates a vicious cycle that threatens the future of the entire healthcare system. Technology is one solution to break this vicious cycle.
Hiring nurses and healthcare staff is getting harder
There are a number of challenges impacting nurse and care worker hiring, especially those at relatively low pay salaries:
- Lack of talent: Not enough young people choose healthcare as a career path
- Growing demand: With life expectancy increases resulting in an aging population and more chronic disease, the demand for healthcare staff continues to rise
- Employee expectations: Higher expectations and increased competition for top talent result in too many open positions and higher attrition
96% of UK hospitals report a shortage of nurses – with an overwhelming 25,000 vacancies nationwide. In the US there will be an additional 1.2 million nurses needed in the workforce by 2022, according to the American Nurses Association.
The most convenient solution at the moment seems to be working with agency staff. But this has a price that can cost lives.
The vicious cycle – how nurse shortages are killing us
Due to the shortage of nurses, a vicious cycle is starting:
- Nurses need to work longer hours under stressful conditions
- The number of mistakes and medical errors increases
- There are more complications and longer times needed to recover
- There’s a further increase in demand for nurses
Recent research has shown a direct impact on increased mortality rates, resulting in a need for immediate solutions.
While in the long-term the most effective solution is to invest more in education and train more nurses, in the short-term employers must compete for top care worker talent by standing out from the crowd.
Competition for talent results in recruiting from further afield
As demand for nurses and healthcare staff grows, hospitals are recruiting from further away and investing more in improving retention. While work conditions are being improved and management style is revisited, hospitals are also looking into implementing a best practice approach from the corporate world to improve employer brand appreciation.
As the number of foreign nurses reaches record levels in the US and UK, hospitals have two challenges:
- If the hospital is located in an unpopular location, it needs to boost location brand perception to attract talent.
- If the hospital is located in a popular location, like NYC or London, the location is already attractive, but they need to improve their employer brand appreciation in order to minimize the number of cases where nurses leave for another hospital in the city.
Hospitals now choose technology to stay within budget
To attract top talent, hospitals need to provide relocation support and found traditional solutions too expensive.
With traditional relocation support costing tens of thousands in support and services, hospitals are seeking more affordable solutions.
Microsoft Azure cloud services provide powerful, cost effective technology solutions that help hospitals provide an outstanding welcome experience, at a fraction of the cost of traditional relocation. Benivo has partnered with Microsoft to deliver Azure-based technology solutions, that help hospitals reduce relocation costs by 90% and improve their employer brand appreciation by 30%. The solution is also used by leading employers such as Google, Microsoft, Vodafone, Hertz, and Bloomberg to ensure every relocating employee is welcome regardless of age and wage.
Recent research by Prof. Dan Cable, of London Business School, found that retention increases by 50% when employees feel welcome. By using cloud technology solutions, Benivo not only reduces relocation costs for hospitals by 90% but also helps them to fill empty positions and improve the quality of patient care.
Investing in the right solutions improving retention rates, and attracting the best talent is critical for hospitals in the short-term until long-term solutions are developed for the critical shortage in nurses.
Read more about how to provide an exceptional welcome to new hires, how you can provide a better experience, and what how to improve retention of nurses and healthcare staff.
To learn more about what Microsoft and its partners are doing in health, download the free ebook.