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Healthcare Staffing Shortages Are Number 1 Issue in Recent Report

by | Nov 9, 2022 | News, Open Content

While likely not a surprise to medical labs, a new report may add more urgency to solving recruitment and retention issues.

Labs will likely need to step up their staff recruitment and retention game plans going into 2023, according to a recent report from healthcare technology and safety authority ECRI. The organization’s “Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns 2022” report listed healthcare staffing shortages as the number one patient safety concern in 2022 and the negative impact of COVID-19 on staff mental health came in at number two, showing that medical labs and other healthcare providers should prioritize these issues.

This information likely won’t come as a surprise to clinical labs, which have been dealing with staffing issues since before the current pandemic, but may add more urgency to solving staffing challenges. ECRI also mentioned in a recent blog post that the so-called great resignation of workers in a variety of industries due to COVID-19 pandemic-related burnout has hit the healthcare industry particularly hard, exacerbating challenges healthcare workers already faced.

With this added pressure to the staffing shortages issue, G2 Intelligence gathered some quick tips for labs.

For managing burnout, a team made up of University of Michigan and Dartmouth College experts recently offered some useful tips, suggesting the “Choosing Wisely” approach in a recent JAMA Health Forum Viewpoint article.

This approach helps managers in the healthcare industry cut out “low-value management practices” in order to reduce pressures on staff. This means removing any practices that:

  • Place “unnecessary burdens” on staff
  • Don’t have enough evidence “to improve clinical quality, organizational outcomes (eg, efficiency, financial performance), or equity”
  • Don’t “address outcomes patients care about”
  • Waste time or create duplicate work

On the recruitment side, G2 Intelligence recently spoke with Maggie Morrissey, director of recruiting and staffing services at clinical lab consulting firm Lighthouse Lab Services, and Ed Dooling, chief executive officer and co-founder of Vanguard Healthcare Staffing, for their advice on filling vacant lab positions. See “How to Meet Diagnostic Lab Staffing Challenges” from our October 2022 Laboratory Industry Report. In addition to a competitive salary, Morrissey and Dooling identified the following factors lab staff are looking for from employers:

  • Flexible work schedules
  • Work-life balance
  • Paid time off
  • Health benefits
  • Access to day care
  • Effective management
  • Challenging work
  • A strong, supportive work culture
  • Relocation packages, depending on geographic location

Dooling also shares more tips for finding the right lab candidates in a follow-up article in our November 2022 Laboratory Industry Report, including:

  • Partnering with medical technology and medical laboratory technician schools to recruit new grads
  • Making use of social media
  • Posting on job boards for laboratory or health system websites
  • Partnering with professional organizations

You can find more insight from Dooling and fellow Vanguard representative Mason Shaw in their recent G2 Intelligence Lab Institute Virtual Event presentation, “How to Effectively Navigate Today’s Laboratory Staffing Crisis,” soon to be available for on demand viewing.