I have repeatedly spoken about staff shortages in healthcare and their impact on patient safety. While hospitals and healthcare organizations continue to implement strategies to mitigate staffing shortages, we also need to look for viable solutions to offset these issues.
Technology can help lessen the impact of this problem, especially since the pandemic began stretching healthcare resources to breaking point. It could be something as simple as a push-button triage approach or as complex as robot-assisted surgery – the possibilities are endless. Of course, there’s the possibility of misuse, including data theft, cyber warfare, programming errors, or even obsolescence. While these aren’t reasons to resist, we must also take enough ways to counteract the negatives.
Medicine has always been a human-to-human relationship. In the days of yore, when there was a health issue, we went to a general practitioner. It was either resolved or escalated to a practitioner who was a specialist in that field. Over the years, we have accepted new inventions and new practices, albeit reluctantly. Irrespective of all doubts that we’ll ever have, change is constant, and right now, US healthcare organizations are doing their best to survive in this brave new world. And at PX3, we’re working hard to support organizations in their journey.
In 2021 alone, nearly 42% of the 597 organizations surveyed reported ransomware attacks, and over a third of this ransomware, incidents were attributed to a third party. The effects of malware go beyond stolen health data – it could potentially affect patient confidence, or worse, increase mortality rate.
Not long ago, when patient data was stolen in New Mexico, sensitive patient data, including social security, financial accounts, driver’s license numbers, dates of birth, and other sensitive medical records, were removed. One can only imagine what this data might be used for – data is the new gold, and hospitals need the best professionals to be proactive and foresee potential lapses while upgrading systems constantly.
With COVID changing work practices, we are now witnessing a trend where interim and freelance staff are happy to take up work. Rather than go through the entire process of hiring permanent staff, it makes so much sense to hire freelancers. It seems like a sensible approach considering that almost 300,000 IT positions were posted in September 2021.
While freelancing may not be a feasible approach for every job, it could be very helpful in some departments considering the fact that 6 million tech workers are earning their wages through self-employment. In fact, freelancing can be beneficial for both hirers and freelancers. Rather than undertaking a lengthy hiring process, hospitals can hire experts for a project and then move on at the end of the contract.
As a healthcare specialist, I can see the benefits of a blended recruitment process. In fact, there have been tremendous changes in my 15 years of recruitment. I also need to recognize the need to be flexible, agile, and creative when it comes to effective recruitment.
While we cannot and should not hold back on profound shifts, I recommend talking with recruitment professionals to assess your needs comprehensively. However, stable your staff numbers are, all it takes is a promotion or a rush of resignations for things to go haywire.
Creating a talent pipeline is essential to manage last-minute panic. Having access to a bank of freelancers or even putting out an intention to hire potential candidates could help a lot. It takes months to find the exact match for your requirement criteria. Rather than taking a reactive approach to hiring, we need to take a proactive approach.
Healthcare organizations need to develop a relationship with a professional recruiter to understand your needs. At PX3, we are pro-tech, but know that human to human is a great way to start your search for new staff. Call us if you’d like to know how we help.