Staffing challenges are nothing new in the home healthcare industry, but over the last few years the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already troubling issue. In 2022, staffing shortages are overwhelmingly the biggest pain point for home-based providers. According to the 2022 Home Health Care News Outlook Survey and Report, 80% of respondents cite staffing as their greatest non-COVID related challenge. Under the staffing umbrella, 57% cite recruiting as their primary concern while 32% cite retention.
The unfortunate reality for HHC providers is that staffing challenges show no sign of letting up anytime soon—at least not without taking deliberate action. Luckily, as a provider, you’re uniquely positioned in the industry to alleviate this crisis. Here’s what you can do.
Recruit the Right People
The pandemic drove many clinicians, nurses and other caregivers to retire early or leave the healthcare industry altogether. This has led to providers increasing their recruiting efforts, which has in turn made for a much more competitive landscape. To ensure your efforts are successful, focus on recruiting the right people for the right jobs.
For example, providers can partner with universities and nursing schools to recruit fresh, new talent, or you can look in other job sectors such as retail or hospitality to find applicants that will have the desired traits you want. We encourage you to think about the kind of people you really want to hire for the open positions in your organization. If you want someone with a humanitarian mindset, recruit where these people would be—soup kitchens, shelters, nonprofits, etc.
Invest in Your Employees
Once you recruit the right people, the challenge then becomes keeping them. Home healthcare is an industry known for high turnover rates, usually due to persistent issues including low wages and an inability for career advancement. In the US, the median wage for caregivers is lower than other jobs like customer service reps or janitors that have similar entry-level requirements. If someone takes an entry level position as a customer service rep, they at least have opportunities for promotion.
To combat retention challenges, there are several initiatives you can invest in. These include advocating for fair compensation, providing adequate supervision and support to workers, offering quality training and other opportunities to develop new skills and giving employees respect and recognition for their hard work.
Utilize Tools and Technologies
To keep up with all the changes the home healthcare industry is encountering, providers need to invest in the right applications. According to the Home Health Care News Outlook Survey, providers in the industry are ready for technology. Respondents said they planned to invest in technology for:
- Staff management (39%)
- telemedicine/telehealth and predictive analysis (35%)
- Patient engagement (32%)
- Automation tools (28%)
- EHR/eMAR (23%)
- Interoperability tools (21%)
With the right tools, providers will be in a better position to support their employees even when they’re out in the field, engage with patients and deliver a better overall service.
CompanyMileage: an Asset to the HHC Industry
CompanyMileage’s suite of products—SureMileage, SureMobile and SureExpense—are uniquely suited to support expense management for home healthcare organizations. That’s because we solve a critical issue many organizations with mobile employees face: mileage expense reimbursement. By automating the mileage reimbursement process, SureMileage ensures that reimbursement is more accurate, and payments are issued more seamlessly.
When organizations partner with CompanyMileage, they save up to 30% on mileage reimbursement costs. In an era when providers are facing so many other challenges, don’t let expense management be one of them. Request a demo to learn more about how our solutions can help!