The media has dubbed the current departure of employees from the workforce, “The Great Resignation.” No industry has felt the pain of this trend more acutely than healthcare. Spurred largely by the stress of the pandemic, healthcare workers have been leaving jobs in record numbers. This has healthcare organizations scrambling – shutting down operating rooms, hiring travel staff and paying huge sign-on bonuses. As a finance guy, I question whether these tactics are sustainable over the long term. Instead, I believe successfully attracting and retaining employees depend on the principles of efficiency and flexibility.
At AP Health, we hire and manage Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and Certified Surgical Assistants, primarily to assist in operating rooms across a variety of surgical specialties. To succeed in serving our hospital and surgeon customers, we have to offer a talented team of professionals, as well as cost savings when compared to an in-house staffing alternative. This requires a laser focus on efficiency and flexibility in our operations. As part of this focus, we’ve invested in systems and technology, which enables us to now serve dozens of hospitals and surgery centers with more than 100 advanced practice providers.
For Hospitals: Eliminate Recruiting, Management of Talent
For our hospital clients, we take on the duties of recruiting, scheduling, paying, and billing for the advanced practitioners we provide. Our focus on recruiting this niche of professionals enables us to identify and hire staff faster than hospitals tasked with hiring for positions throughout the organization. Scheduling staff is a challenge for any healthcare system, especially in surgeries, which experience changes as a matter of course. Our deep bench of professionals, combined with our proprietary scheduling technology, allows us to support surgeries with greater flexibility and efficiency than on-staff alternatives. We also bill insurance companies for our work, and our revenue cycle systems get us paid in an efficient fashion.
For Practitioners: Competitive Pay and Flexibility
For practitioners, we of course offer a competitive compensation and benefits package. We also give all employees stock options so they can have ownership in the company and benefit from its success. However, our real advantages in attracting and retaining staff is that we offer them greater control over their time, flexibility in their work schedule and opportunities for career growth.
Staff receive their assignments via our proprietary app, LogistiSx, so they know where they will be working and what is expected. Unlike their in-house peers, they don’t go from clinic to the OR and back again. Because we have a full team of practitioners, employees have greater flexibility with their schedules. We strive to place our practitioners in the same facility in order to provide consistent service to our surgeons and hospital partners. LogistiSx also simplifies their documentation duties, eliminating time-consuming paperwork. If our providers want to explore working in another surgical specialty, we offer educational opportunities to get them the training and experience to do so without leaving AP Health.
All this is not to say that we haven’t been challenged by the staffing pressures the industry is experiencing. There are going to be some that leave the profession or chase compensation opportunities created by the great resignation. However, I know that when it comes to creating a value proposition that works for both customers and employees over the long term, it is fueled by efficiency and flexibility.