How to Improve the Staffing Efficiency in Urgent Care Services?
Due to the unexpected emergence of the pandemic and patient demand, urgent care clinics are struggling to manage the high patient volumes due to the absence of adequate manpower. Although the reasons for understaffing had their fair contribution to COVID-19, the staff shortage happened also due to changes in careers during the pandemic.
Another reason that brought in manpower shortage is the unavailability of proper holidays and weekend breaks, resulting in staff burnout. Even though there is better work-life balance in the urgent care industry when compared to ER or hospitals, it does not suffice for the employees who are seeking off days.
Now, this shortage could also turn into a major crisis in the Urgent Care Industry. And therefore, they need to regain control of their staff and rectify the flaws to improve the efficiency of the services.
Here are the key pointers that could help Urgent Care Industry to improve its hiring strategy and retain its existing staff:
How to improve the hiring strategy?
Even with the existing manpower and team, hiring is an ongoing process that is very time-consuming and tiring, and therefore, it demands meticulous hiring managers. An urgent care facility must indulge in optimization of the hiring process so that they can find the right fit and eliminate the ones who aren’t.
Strategies for hiring process optimization
Cost-effective staffing for increased productivity
Hire employees that cover low-cost positions for the same kind of work. This means, hiring 2 or 3 people for one aspect of the urgent care service. This can help improve the patient experience and thereby increase the overall efficiency of the Urgent Care facility.
Example– Hiring 2 persons for the patient registration process can help ease up the registration experience for the patients and also saves a lot of time.
Providing internships to students who are about to graduate brings in plenty of staff members. It takes off at least a small part of the burden of the existing staff and allows them to train the interns daily to have a clear understanding of the processes. These interns can be assigned to any tasks like registration, billing, or patient engagement where they can perform with efficiency. If the internship period proves them to be proficient, then they can be hired for long-term employment as well.
Proper allocation of job boards
Post the job opportunities on several platforms that can help filter out the best-fit candidates and eliminate the ones that don’t. If a candidate does not have the appropriate certifications and license, the applicant would not make it to the hiring manager’s inbox.
Quick response to applicants
The hiring team of Urgent Care Clinics must be keen on responding quickly to new applicants. The applicants might have a lot of options and responding quickly will help not to lose a potential candidate. And therefore, it is indeed imperative for them to have at least one person allocated for responding to all the applicants.
How to improve retention?
Clinic owners must keep up with the already existing staff. Retaining them might get challenging as time goes and will get expensive if they lose an efficient employee. Ensure current team members are aware of the work related challenges and provide them a positive environment where they can enjoy their work.
What are the tips for enhancing the retention rates?
Focus on employee relationships
Clinics can get stressful with continuous patient visits, urgent treatments, minor procedures, and such. So it is natural for any employee to feel frustrated and might consider leaving their jobs. Handling urgent care cases can get hectic for high volume. So, it is the employer’s responsibility to maintain a work environment that despite all the pressure helps the staff to relieve their stress and to find that balance. Some of the things that could increase the enthusiasm of the staff could be regular fun activities, distinct rates for weekend-weeknight shifts, increments, bonuses, providing free high-protein snacks, and such.
Allow them to speak up!
Conduct regular reviewing and ask for their feedback on how happy and satisfied they are in their jobs. By doing this, you are effectively engaging with them, helping them analyze the challenges they are facing, and providing realistic solutions to their challenges. This allows them to have a space to raise their concerns and bring ideas to action, thereby, creating a comfortable work environment.
Provide flexible shifts
The staff members might be seeking a flexible option where they can spend enough time with their families and then in the office. If their shift timings make it hard for them to find that work-life balance, chances are that they might consider shifting to another clinic with a flexible shift that works well for them. So, providing a flexible shift that works for both the parties, after effective communication will help retain them for good.
Eliminate the wrong fits
Holding onto an unfit employee can get expensive for nothing and productivity might also get compromised. This can have a bad impact on patient engagement and might burden other employees. It is important to maintain the well-deserved employee for the long run but if they feel burdened, they might consider quitting.
Maximize the efficiency of your operations
Operations at an Urgent Care Clinic can get frustrating and tiresome, so much so that manual involvement alone isn’t enough. Being in the digital era, Urgent Care Services can leverage the best and most state-of-the-art technology that could help improve your productivity, ease up conventionally difficult processes, and reduces downtime.
How to optimize the staffing operations?
- Automate direct mailing to notify patients of details about tests, procedures, and vaccines.
- Make staffing decisions based on data and allocate shifts and locations that fit effectively for both parties.
- Make use of lab resources that help in freeing up time through effective technology.
- Cross train staff in such a way that they could assist in any clinical service.
- Allocate vacation days to team members while the cross-trained employees can take over the process in their absence.
- Let the team members indulge in all activities including Occupational Medicine visits, compliance issue visits, and A/R collections.
How to maximize the efficiency of clinic operations?
- Incorporate feasible approaches to patient registration like eRegistration.
- Enhance your EMR workflows by optimizing them to chart quickly for general visits.
- Make effective use of texting and let patients know of their appointments and test schedules without having to depend on phone calls.
- Provide telehealth facilities to patients. That way the workload balance can be attained efficiently.
- Conduct an operational assessment to know how and where exactly you are lagging and how to rectify the wastage of time.
- Outsource your billing cycle to effectively manage high volume patient bills.
Practolytics partnered with AdvancedMD to provide healthcare clinics to experience feasible and scalable RCM cycle. We serve as an outsourcing partner that helps them unbundle issues associated with medical billing, coding, accounts receivables, and claims submission. That way they can focus on patient care and engagement, which are the ultimate reasons why a medical clinic functions.
To learn more about urgent care needs, billing and coding processes, and queries on healthcare revenue cycle management, reach out to our experts at Practolytics. Visit for more progressive information on Urgent Care.
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