One of the most pressing challenges facing ASCs and healthcare organizations today is pervasive staffing shortages. While nursing shortages are nothing new to healthcare industry veterans, the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the issue to a critical turning point.
Even post-pandemic, major institutions report no real improvement upon their existing staffing woes. Today, thin workforces at ASCs and other healthcare organizations are contributing to a range of issues, including: delays in billing and care, spikes in episodic cost of care, and is causing concerns about risk to patient safety standards and quality of care.
The issue is particularly challenging for stakeholders to solve, as there is no one single cause. Care and administrative teams cite a series of reasons for quitting, including: burnout, pandemic-related stress, low pay and high workloads. According to a survey by The Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 30% of frontline healthcare workers are considering leaving the industry altogether, due to pandemic-related burnout.
“The Bidding War” for Nursing Staff
Due to the nursing shortage, health systems, hospitals, and ASCs are in fierce competition for top talent. Larger healthcare organizations are employing a variety of tactics, including top-dollar signing bonuses, promises of flexible scheduling, and other lucrative incentives. While the relatively predictable ASC scheduling and work environment has traditionally been alluring to healthcare workers, many independent ASCs are struggling to remain competitive during the current “bidding war” climate.
Unfortunately, many ASCs are already running lean throughout the pandemic. According to the 2021 OR Manager Salary/Career Survey, during the past 12 months:
- 56% of ASC leaders reported that recruiting experienced operating room nurses is more difficult compared to last year
- 40% of ASC leaders reported that the most common staffing challenge was hiring more direct care staff
- 49% of ASC leaders reported an increased Registered Nurse (RN) turnover
Rebounding Patient Volumes are Overwhelming Staff
Workforce shortages shift existing burdens of work onto remaining staff, further contributing to frustration, exhaustion, and burnout. As patient volumes continue to rebound, backlogs of patients returning for procedures are higher than ever before – only now without enough staff on hand to support today’s need.
To help safeguard against further drains on remaining staff, focus on building team satisfaction. Check shift schedules to ensure everyone receives adequate break times. Lastly, adopt digital solutions that leverage pre-designed workflows, streamline billing and operations processes, and help cover inbound call volumes to reduce the burden of work on your valuable nursing, care team, and front office staff.
As the Staffing Crisis Grows, Gaining Efficiencies Become More Important
Experienced long-term staff possess critical operational knowledge that keeps a center running smoothly, including: benefits verification processes, front office customer service and inbound calls, patient financials, claims processing, and procedure cost analysis. Without a complete understanding of the center’s administrative operations, slow-downs can impact scheduling and surgical volumes, patient pre-admission conversations, and impact billing cycles, all of which can impact revenue cycle management (RCM).
To help support existing staff and reduce the burden of manual entry and time-consuming outbound calls for patient reminders, SaaS solutions can help your ASC continue to run smoothly, even when staffing levels are sub-optimal:
- One Mnet Health’s Engage solution keeps staff, patients, and surgical teams connected with texts, notifications, and hand-off reminders so that teams can stay in continuous contact, to operate smoothly and perfectly in-sync.
- To cover more of the patient journey and support staff across a series of functions, leverage our Payments solution, which helps ASCs realize increased cash flows of up to 2X by empowering patients to pay in various ways.
- For facilities seeking a comprehensive solution that improves the entire patient journey, our ONEflow solution is an excellent option. It combines the benefits of Medical Passport – which saves time by collecting patient-entered health histories prior to appointments – with Engage and Payments to ease the experience for all stakeholders, including patients, front-office staff, nurses, billing teams and physicians.
How One Mnet Health Holistically Supports ASC Staff and Workflows
One Mnet Health offers a variety of purpose-built tools designed specifically for ASCs. Facilities can quickly leverage one – or all – of our solutions to free up time to focus on patient care and experience, instead of on time-consuming manual data entry, billing workflows, and collections. Here’s how:
- By increasing patient payments and significantly reducing bad debt: By leveraging our Payments solution, one surgical hospital increased their cash flow by $1.8 million and reduced their bad debt by $1.1 million. Learn more by visiting here.
- By extending your reach: One Mnet Health works as a seamless extension of your facility. Our US-based team of multilingual Patient Financial Advocates speak over 200 languages and expertly address healthcare, claims, and payment-related inquiries as an extension of your facility’s billing department.
- By offering time-saving workflows: Medical Passport saves nurses and front-office staff 20 minutes per patient, freeing up bandwidth so they can do what they do best – provide excellent care for their patients.
By working with One Mnet Health, your facility will be able to weather this staffing shortage, become more resilient in the face of future storms, and importantly – build a bolstered position for continued growth.
To learn more about how we can help support your existing staff or support your facility during a staffing shortage, reach out to schedule a demo today!
About One Mnet Health
One Mnet Health unites the clinical and financial patient experience. Our solutions help healthcare providers reach their full potential by improving patient engagement and increasing patient payments. We're not just a partner; we act as an extension of your facility, giving your staff increased efficiency without any headache. For more information, visit onemnethealth.com.