COVID-19 and the Future of Healthcare

 

Healthcare organizations continuously adopt new technologies and modify practices on their own. But in spite of the industry’s initiatives, no medical facility could have predicted the impact of COVID-19 and what it would reveal about the current state of medicine. While it’s unclear when the pandemic will ultimately pass, let’s take a look at how it might influence healthcare in the near future and far down the line.

Patients Leveraging Telemedicine

Social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home mandates will eventually lift, but telemedicine is predicted to remain as an empowering healthcare tool — especially for patients in rural areas with limited healthcare access. Although telehealth technology existed long before the onset of COVID-19, it’s expected that patients will leverage this healthcare tool more than ever as a result of the pandemic. For primary care specifically, telemedicine can virtually eliminate the need for most in-person visits through remote doctor access and prescription refills.

Facilities Prioritizing Preparation

Pandemic preparedness can take many forms — each of which requires preemptive planning. To prepare for the possibility of another pandemic, every healthcare facility should first start by mobilizing a task force dedicated to organizing and allocating resources. These types of preparedness committees must include disaster coordinators along with select members from each facility department. Similarly, hospitals and private practices may improve their pandemic preparedness by forming or joining coalitions to widen the scope of planning.

Employers Accommodating Professionals  

Growing the healthcare workforce has long been a priority for individual practices and healthcare groups. However, COVID-19 presents many organizations with the challenge of instead maintaining their workforce. As clinical workers face a higher risk of infection, healthcare facilities face a higher rate of turnover. Therefore, during and after the pandemic, it’s predicted that healthcare facilities will begin to offer more flexible solutions, amenities, and benefits to retain and protect medical staff, such as:

  • Access to new childcare programs
  • Improved training processes and practices
  • Medical daycare for family members

Your Long-Term Healthcare Partner

Change is imminent in the healthcare industry, which is why the team of healthcare recruiters at HealthCare Support wants now more than ever to make a difference. Our experienced staff is dedicated to closing talent gaps and filling voids across hospital networks and individual organizations. To learn more about our services, contact us today at 888-219-6285.

How to Save Your Healthcare Facility From the Growing Talent Gap

While there’s a constant influx of new talent entering the healthcare workforce, there’s an even larger outflow of existing talent leaving the industry. This poses a serious problem for medical facilities as they struggle to fill positions that are continuously opening within their practice. If your healthcare organization has a talent void to fill, take a look at the following practices that will help close the gap.

Carefully Fill Open Positions

Gaps can open up at every level, but the way you fill them will make a significant difference in the long run. For example, if a senior employee retires, you could either bring in an outside candidate to fill that role or promote an existing employee to fill it. If you decide to promote someone within your facility, you then have to consider who will fill the role left behind by that employee when they move up. To ensure that you hire a professional that can serve your facility and leave gaps filled long term, consider searching for younger talent. Younger employees have a longer professional timeline, which means they have more room to develop and grow within your organization.

Constantly Focus on Retention

A talent gap in your healthcare facility can force professionals in your understaffed workforce to work even harder than they already do. Until you’re able to put the right candidates in the right positions, you need to double down on employee retention practices. While employee satisfaction should always be a top priority, it becomes even more in-demand when your staff members are clocking in more hours, expelling more energy, and offering more effort. To prevent a gap from growing at your facility or stop your current one from widening, put stock in an employee retention program that includes bonuses like:

  • Wellness packages
  • Mentorship programs
  • Recognition perks
  • Team-building exercises
  • Performance reviews

Consistently Train Your Talent

Controlling the talent gap is easier when you’ve fully mobilized your staff. By placing more resources into training and empowering your employees, you can better prepare members of your own workforce to fill the most critical talent gaps. And by dedicating more time to continual staff training, you can better plan for the future needs of your facility, reduce the likelihood of under-staffing, and even prevent your organization from over-staffing.

Partner With a Recruiter That Knows Your Industry

At HealthCare Support, we’re dedicated to helping our partners fill any talent gaps in their facility. That’s why our team of experienced healthcare recruiters takes the time to understand the professional dynamic of your organization and the types of candidates that will make a perfect fit. Moreover, we’ll keep both your current and future needs in mind when selecting talent for you to interview. To learn more about how we can help you close the talent gap, contact us today at 888-219-6285.

Self-Care for HealthCare Workers During High Pressure Times

At times of intense pressure and uncertainty, self-care is more important than ever, nevertheless it is in the fundamental nature of healthcare professionals to prioritize the needs of others before their own. They have a keen interest in the wellbeing of humanity and deep-rooted ethics that often lead them to fully overlook their own needs. While self-care for healthcare workers can be complex, it is essential in maintaining effective healthcare services especially in times of virus outbreaks like COVID-19.

It is not uncommon for healthcare workers to find themselves juggling competing needs of their patients, families and their own. When little time is left for self-care, stress and anxieties can creep in. Having a strategy in place to manage stressors in high pressure times can make the difference. Here are our suggestions:

Pace Yourself

Set attainable goals and break it up. Your goal for each hour may be different than your goal for the day. The relentless pace and mounting tension providers have been faced with since cases of COVID-19 first started erupting earlier in the year will take their toll on even the best of the workforce. Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint.

Take a Break

Recognize the signs of burnout and take self-care breaks when you see them. Typical signs of burnout include work-related hopelessness and feelings of inefficacy or defeat. Dedicating 10 minutes to an activity that can improve your state of mind such as a few mindful breathes, a phone call to a loved one or a short walk can turn your day around and make you better able to care for others.

Maintain Good Health Habits

When there is little time for self-care its common to see healthy habits circumvented by quick and less beneficial habits. Be mindful of this and give your best effort to maintain your health by bringing balanced meals to work, creating time for exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, and getting enough sleep.

Though these are good strategies for managing well-being, self-care means different things to everyone. Make it a mission to find coping mechanisms that work for you and dedicate the time that’s needed to them. Even though it is in the nature of healthcare professionals to give their all, every day- it benefits us all for them to take care of themselves first.

“You cannot pour from an empty cup. You must fill your cup first.” Norm Kelly

4 Ways to Increase Productivity of Your Healthcare Team

Employee productivity is the cornerstone of a healthy healthcare facility. That’s why it’s important that your employees have adequate time to get through their daily tasks and that they make the most of every minute on the clock especially in times like now when our country is depending on our healthcare workers to care for those infected with the novel coronavirus. If your healthcare team needs a little help getting back into gear, take a look at these four ways to increase productivity.

Train Your Team on New Technology

Carving some time out to teach your healthcare team about new technology can work wonders for your facility’s productivity. For example, instead of having to print reports, spreadsheets, and schedules, your team can use a communications app that quickly streamlines the process. And if you want to learn what your employees think about the productivity of your facility, you can use such apps to distribute surveys and ask for feedback. Alongside a communications app, consider using project management software for administrative tasks or similar operations that you would like to improve. It is also important to cross-train employees as much as possible. Department efficiency is just as important as individual employee efficiency and during uncertain times like now, it is important to plan ahead with Plan B and Plan C should certain team members be unable to perform their typical roles.

Recognize Productivity with Rewards

When you want to see improvements in specific parts of your healthcare facility, incentives are a smart and effective tool to use. Of course, bonuses and other monetary rewards are a great way to encourage your healthcare team to step it up. But they aren’t the only way. If you don’t have quite enough room in your budget to offer up monthly, quarterly, or yearly bonuses to the most productive employees, consider recognizing them with other rewards, including:

  • Small gift cards for popular retailers like Amazon or Walmart
  • Employee of the Month awards & photo recognition
  • Shout outs on your facility’s social media pages and intranet
  • Gift baskets or goodie bags

Improve Your Employee Evaluations

If data is telling you that productivity is low, it might be because your employees aren’t aware of what they need to improve. By setting expectations through performance reviews and scheduled evaluations, you can encourage your staff to work harder, meet their goals, and have an impressive performance history. Furthermore, you can use employee evaluations to let your staff know when they aren’t meeting goals and redirect their attention with tips and tricks to do so.

Get Help from a Healthcare Recruiter

Having a productive healthcare facility requires effort from an employer just as much as the employees. That’s why it’s essential to not only do your part and equip your staff with the tools for success, but also ensure that your workforce is filled with the best. If you want to improve productivity on your healthcare team, put together the best group of workers with the recruiters at HealthCare Support. Our healthcare recruiter team will search for the right candidates, screen them until we find the best fits for your facility, and track their progress with our scorecard rating practice. To learn more, call us today at 888-219-6285.

Soft Skills to Look for When Hiring at Your Healthcare Facility

Out of the many qualities that make a great healthcare candidate — quality education, relevant experience, and strong letters of recommendation — soft skills are perhaps the most overlooked. While these can’t be measured, graded, or certified like other skills, soft skills are essential indicators of how well a candidate will fit in your facility and excel in their position.

Whether you have some current open positions to fill or are looking for ways to improve the operations of your facility in the future, these are the soft skills to look for in potential employees.

What Are Soft Skills?

Hard skills are the trained techniques and knowledge that candidates accumulate over the course of their schooling, internships, and entry-level jobs. Soft skills, however, are the personal characteristics that candidates can also apply to their job, including professionalism, critical thinking, and creativity. While hard skills are specific to the individual duties of each professional, soft skills are useful to employees in any position, and they help to determine the way that an applicant will interact with members, patients, and associates of your facility.

Which Soft Skills to Look for in Applicants

You need to know that the next person you hire can perform, but you also need to know that they can successfully collaborate with your other employees, adapt to the ever-changing needs of your patients, and manage their time accordingly. Therefore, the top soft skills to look for when screening candidates include:

  • Communication — Whether it’s with a patient, third-party provider, or member of the same department, your employees must always clearly and professionally communicate.
  • Adaptability — Every patient, treatment plan, and medical claim are different from the last, which is why healthcare professionals must be able to adapt as needed.
  • Patience — Hiccups and holdups happen all the time in healthcare, which is why your future employees must be patient enough to provide excellent service at all times.
  • Time management — In the healthcare industry, workloads change on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s imperative that your staff can prioritize their daily and weekly tasks accordingly.
  • Teamwork — Being able to effectively collaborate within and outside of their own department is critical to the success of any healthcare employee.

Where to Find the Right Candidates for the Job

If you want to find candidates with not only the right soft skills, but also the right experience, education, and technical expertise for the job, partner with HealthCare Support. Our team of healthcare recruiters will find top talent for your open positions based on a range of factors. We’ll also use personalized skills assessment testing, screen each candidate with a multi-level system, and measure their performance with quality assurance calls. When you’re ready track down the best talent, call us today at 888-219-6285.

Attracting Quality Talent with Job Postings

Attracting quality talent has its challenges (or let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this!) You could just seek the help of a local staffing firm (or better yet, ours!), or you might decide to take on the challenge of finding your dream hire alone. If you do, you’ll want to know the tips and tricks used by recruiters to help you get the process going.

Job boards are arguably the best tool a staffing agency has. But signing up and paying the monthly fee alone won’t make the magic happen. You’ll need to understand how to narrow your searches using string searching such as Boolean and be able to write the ultimate job description. Since posting jobs are typically the most effective use of job boards, let’s learn how to guarantee you’ll receive lots of qualified candidates!

Keep it Simple!

Job titles should not be more than a couple words long. They should be short and descriptive. Try to avoid internal job names if they vary from the industry’s terminology. For example, if the industry uses the title Call Center Manager – Chief Chatter might not attract the right talent!

Be Specific.

The core of any job post is the responsibilities section.  This section should tell an interested candidate exactly what they’d be doing in your opening. Keep the responsibilities concise and specific. Instead of saying the individual hired would be responsible for answering phone calls, routing calls, taking messages and returning voicemails it’d be better to say they would be responsible for managing a multi-line phone system which receives an average of 100-200 phone calls per day. We’ve quantified the latter description to make sure your applicants are comfortable with that type of call frequency and given them an idea of the pace of work.

Qualify, qualify, qualify…

When listing the qualifications for the position try to list them in order of importance. You may not find candidates that meet all of the bullet points on your list, but they might fill the top 3 and be just what you need. Limit this list to 5 items as too many qualifications can discourage even the most confident candidate.

How About the Perks?

Let’s give them something to get excited about! With the lowest unemployment rate in the last 50 years you’re in serious competition. You need to motivate them to apply by putting your best foot forward. This is where you can list things like the pay structure (where it’s base plus commission or bonuses), opportunities for career development, company culture, health programs and benefits, vacation time, company vehicles, etc., etc.

If you check all of these boxes you’re off to a good start. Remember to keep your post concise. It’s a job seekers market and most applicants today are applying from mobile devices. The goal is to capture their attention, help them envision their role with you and prompt them to apply. Don’t drop the ball in the last second of the game and remember to respond quickly to quality candidates or you’ll miss out.

How to Network in Pharmacy

Networking isn’t exclusive to potential job candidates; it’s something professionals must continuously practice in their career. Whether you’re new to the world of networking or want to fine-tune your communication skills, here’s our guide to cultivating the right connections.

Places to Network as a Pharmacist

Even if you know how to network, you might not know exactly where to start. Here are some of the best places to go to when you want to grow your list of professional contacts.

  • Charitable organizations – You don’t have to be a student to rack up some community service hours. Volunteering in your field is a great way to offer your skills to a respectable organization and add some like-minded individuals to your network.
  • School functions – If you’re still in pharmacy school, take advantage of all the student resources on campus. Attend job fairs, interview your professors, and join clubs that can help you network with pharmacists or pharmacy technicians.
  • Pharmacist conferences – Conferences are a key networking tool, because you can select ones specific to your industry. And, you can attend panels, workshops, or individual sessions to expand your knowledge and your network.

Networking Tips for Pharmacists

Networking comes easier to some than others, but it’s still a skill that anyone can master with practice. Here are some tips to help take the edge off of any professional interactions you might have in your networking journey.

  • Learn to actively listen. Making eye contact, nodding your head, and even repeating phrases back to another person lets them know that you are fully engaged in the conversation.
  • Practice your elevator pitch. Whether you’re trying to stand out to an employer or just want to effectively introduce yourself to another medical professional, you need a strong elevator pitch with personal and professional information.
  • Dress professionally. If you want to effectively extend your network of professionals, dress like a professional. Wear neutral colors, groom your hair, and put some extra overall effort into your appearance.
  • Ask questions. To use networking to your advantage, ask employers what they look for in pharmacist applicants. Likewise, when networking with other pharmacists, ask them any questions you have about their career that can help yours.
  • Keep in contact. Email and LinkedIn are professional ways to stay in touch with your connections. After an event, draft an email or send a message reminding them where you met and some key points you talked about.

Start Building Your Pharmacy Network

If you want more networking advice to enhance your professional network, partner with the healthcare networking professionals at HealthCare Support. We’ll work to optimize your resume, improve your elevator pitch, and elevate your professional communication. For more information on our talent network services, call 888-219-6285.

6 Tips for Being a Leader in a Healthcare Workplace

Healthcare recruiters are trained to place even the most timid applicants in the roles that bring out their true potential as leaders. However, there are some candidates that need extra guidance to instill the right amount of confidence, so we’ve narrowed down six of our top tips to transform any healthcare worker into a healthcare leader.

Trust Yourself

A strong leader doesn’t just apply their skills and clinical expertise; they also consider the moral implications of their decisions. This type of mentality is what prevents leaders from turning the other cheek when they see inappropriate behavior coming from other staff members, and it’s what drives them to go the extra mile for their patients and peers.

Keep Learning

Even the most prominent leaders don’t know everything. The strongest healthcare leaders are those who take time to continue their education to improve the quality of care and overall performance. So, if you want to continue being an effective source of information, you’ll need to stay updated on everything changing in your industry.

Actively Listen

Leaders must possess the ability to direct others, but they also need to have strong listening skills. Beyond hearing what patients and staff are communicating, leaders in the healthcare industry must actively listen to uncover true solutions and improve the systems around them.

Ask Questions

The people around you might follow the direction you give, but you’ll never know what they think unless you ask. Consider asking your team how they feel about your leadership and if they have any feedback to improve your leadership style. By conferring with your team, you might even uncover new strategies or systems that can improve the everyday functions in your workplace.

Stay Positive

No matter how exhausted, annoyed, or upset they are, leaders are still the model for the team around them. If you want to step up into leadership, lead by example and show your coworkers that high-quality care takes priority no matter how many hours you are into a shift. As a leader, you should always strive to guide your coworkers by being a positive figure throughout every minute of your shift.

Find the Right Position

In the healthcare world, some people work best in specific areas, and finding these specific areas is essential to maximizing your capability as a leader. It might take time, but focus on landing the role in which you function best. To easily uncover the right position for your background, skills, and goals, partner with a healthcare recruiter.

The best leaders can function at maximum capacity when they’re in the right position, but finding that position isn’t always easy. With thousands of positions open at a time, it can be incredibly hard to narrow down your search. Fortunately, the healthcare recruiters at HealthCare Support can find the right positions and completely prepare you for the interview and onboarding process. If you’re interested in joining our candidate pool to find your niche in leadership, call 888-219-6285 today.

Mindfulness at Work

You may read this title and immediately think of monks or yoga poses, however mindfulness at work doesn’t need to involve either to decrease your stress level!  The main principal of mindfulness is being consciously present, that is being aware of what is going on around you and within you. Tips on exploring mindfulness are abundant and said to increase productivity, decrease stress and help take back control of your emotions. We’ve listed the basics, and our favorites below.

Press Pause

Give yourself time to live in the moment. Pause before heading into the office each morning and regularly throughout the day even if it’s for 4 slow deep breaths. This, along with different types of mindful exercises help rebalance the nervous system and encourage rational decisions over rash reactions.

Aim for Conscious Awareness

Practice being present in what you are doing, while you are doing it. It’s not uncommon to get distracted at work, but when your mind begins to wander, acknowledge it and bring your thoughts back to the project at hand.

Active Listening

Hearing, but not really listening… We’ve all been there! Also coined inactive listening, tends to happen when we are not in the moment, distracted by thoughts outside of the conversation or stressors unrelated to the topic. We often don’t realize this is happening until it’s too late. You’ve been asked a question or it’s your turn to talk and you’re clueless. To dodge these types of awkward scenarios, stay engaged by asking questions, providing feedback or even jotting down notes, if appropriate.

These small changes in mindfulness and therefore attitude can literally add years to your life and improve your productivity and achievements in the workplace.

5 Phrases You May Be Using Incorrectly

It’s no secret that proper grammar should be used in the workplace. Good grammar not only makes you appear more professional, but it also ensures your ideas and messages are conveyed with clarity. Poor grammar can do just the opposite and lead others to make assumptions on your intelligence. A common way business professionals are dropping the grammar ball is with using incorrect idioms and phrases. Here are 5 that even prominent celebs are screwing up.

For all intensive purposes vs. For all intents and purposes

Originating from English law in the early 1500s the correct phrase, “for all intents and purposes” was used to say “officially” or “effectively.”

Shoe-in vs. Shoo-in

Most don’t have a clue they are using this wrong and imagine a shoe crossing the threshold of a door, opening a new opportunity. While the meaning is somewhat accurate the correct phrase is “shoo-in.” Just as you would shoo a bug out of your car window, to shoo means to move something with urgency.

I could care less vs. I couldn’t care less

If you really think this one through you can catch the double negative which has most people saying it wrong. The correct phrase, “I couldn’t care less” says there is no less caring you could possibly do, that is how little you care. Those who say “I could care less” are simply saying its of some importance to them and it is possible for them to care less about it.

Nip in the butt vs. Nip in the bud

A common phrase heard within management when a problem has occurred is, “nip in the bud,” however some have started using “nip in the butt.” While the latter is rather funny, the first is correct. “Nip in the bud” refers to a flower’s bud and cutting the issues straight at the source.

Down the pipe vs. Down the pike

Around here, we ask our clients if there’s any work coming “down the pike” as in turnpike and meaning in the future. This phrase is commonly mistaken for “down the pipe” which is understood given another commonly used phrase, “in the pipeline.”

Incorporating phrases or idioms into your day to day speech may make you feel more polished in the workplace, but you’ll want to make sure you are using them correctly so you’re not the butt of the joke.