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.

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

How to Seamlessly Execute a Virtual Interview

In the age of coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19) many companies have altered their hiring and recruiting practices. At first the changes started with limiting physical contact to help stop the spread of the virus. Handshakes moved to elbow bumps and then facial masks became a popular interview accessory. Now virtual interviews via phone and video are rapidly becoming the norm.

Not everyone is familiar with this type of interview process and though you may not need to route your commute, allow time for parking or find the perfect shoes to go with your outfit, you’ll still need to dedicate an ample amount of time preparing for your interview. Like any interview, you’ll need to understand the responsibilities of the position, make connections showcasing your experience, research the company and the hiring manager and prepare a list of questions you can ask.

For a successful virtual interview, you must be able to communicate your value well. Practice ahead of time with a faux interview. Set up your device, making certain everything that will appear in the background of your video is orderly and begin recording yourself answering typical interview questions. Next, review the recording and pay close attention to your mannerisms, eye contact and the speed of which you are speaking. Also practice alternative ways of answering questions that you may have stumbled over or taken too long answer.

Be sure to do a trial run of the conferencing software before the scheduled interview as well! Whether you’re a virtual interviewing veteran or a first timer it’s a smart step to take to eliminate technical hiccups. Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting and Facetime are the most common video conferencing platforms used by our clients today. For most of these platforms, you’ll receive an email from our team with a link that will allow you to join the meeting. Test this link ahead of time and you’ll be prompted to download any necessary software to run the meeting when it’s time. For a phone screen or Facetime, be sure you are clear on if you will be initiating the call or if they will. Most managers are flexible to conduct phone screens in the absence of self-facing camera technology that is prevalent on phones, tablets and computers today.

Before you start your virtual interview make sure your device is sufficiently charged and find a quiet area. Separate yourself from pets, children or roommates who may create noise or distractions and silence your devices and computer notifications. Join the meeting ahead of time and don’t let technology get the best of you – make sure you let your personality shine through. Engage with the interviewer, be it by smiling or nodding it’s important to make a connection. You may need to be a little more animated to show your enthusiasm.  If you are having a phone interview and do not have the luxury of conveying your excitement visually through body language, get up out of your seat and smile through the phone. Think positive thoughts and let your confidence permeate the line.

While virtual interviews can be a substantial switch from what you (and the hiring manager) are used to, it’s currently one of the few effective ways to move candidates through the hiring process while respecting current health and safety concerns. Following these tips will allow you to execute your interview well while not only answering why you’re are the man for the job, but also showing your agility, flexibility and empathy towards our current situation.

Resources:

  1. How to join a Skype meeting using a link
  2. How to join a Zoom meeting
  3. How to join a GoToMeeting meeting

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.