Five Tips to Address the Great Staffing Shortage

Updated: Jun 27

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty across the healthcare industry – one of the most impactful being the great staffing shortage. There are many reasons why we are still seeing hospital beds occupied, but not an adequate number of staff to properly care for these patients. According to a survey of healthcare workers at the peak of the pandemic, 61% reported fear of exposure or transmission, 38% reported anxiety/depression, 43% suffered work overload and 49% had burnout. Nurses in particular have been greatly impacted by the pandemic as researchers at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center found COVID-19 was a major reason for many nurses’ intent to leave, not only their current position but the nursing profession.



For patient care and safety to remain the number one priority as the pandemic continues to affect our nation, we must look towards lessening these burdens on healthcare staff, while continuing to uphold the integrity of patient care. One way to do this is through cutting hours on administrative tasks. Alleviating administrative burdens can be as simple as:


1. Communicating with patients how they prefer. Data shows that 97% of Americans own a smartphone and 81% of Americans text regularly. Additional research found that patients want more digital communication, especially text messaging – with 65% of respondents saying they’d like to receive healthcare text messages, and 87% saying that convenience was the reason for their decision. Communicating with multiple patients during the same time it takes to call one can save our healthcare workers hours each week.


2. Automating communication. Using smart routing to send messages for routine communication allows providers to set up automated responses when necessary for non-urgent communication such as appointment reminders, prescription refills, etc. Additionally, reaching multiple patients at the same time through templated responses and email blasts can ensure that your patients are receiving the level of engagement needed, while saving time for the staff.


3. Providing a virtual waiting room. High waiting room times can have a negative impact, especially for those patients who are afraid of being in enclosed spaces with other people. Having patients wait in their car until the provider is ready for them allows for a safer and more efficient in-office patient flow.


4. Offering e-forms and digital signatures. The transfer from legacy paper intake forms to a more modern, virtual approach can reduce intake time by up to 90%. Not only do e-forms and digital signatures reduce time, but they also reduce the “in-person” need, which lowers the risk of infection exposure for patients and staff.


5. Offering virtual video visits. Virtual video visits in place of in-office appointments for routine procedures saves time for both patients and staff – while continuing to limit the risk of exposure. A schedule is much easier to follow for all parties when the appointment is being held virtually.


Rhinogram is on a mission to get healthcare staff back to their why. More than just HIPAA compliant texting or appointment messaging, Rhinogram allows healthcare providers to engage patients at every step of their journey, while removing burdens on the provider.


Find out how your organization can benefit from our virtual care platform by requesting a demo.


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