COVID-19 – A Lesson in Responsive, Prepared Healthcare

Travel Nursing Agencies, Healthcare Consultants, and Financial Advisors have long preached the value of a scalable healthcare workforce that could adjust to a facility’s varying census needs.  All have argued that possessing such a workforce provides correct patient to caregiver ratios – critical to patient outcomes and in reducing clinician stress – while helping healthcare facilities manage their most costly expense – labor.

Quickly generating the appropriate volume of staff in a moment’s notice has become extremely important during these uncharted times, as we have seen with the outbreak of COVID – 19.  Now that the healthcare industry has a first-hand account of how a pandemic can change routine patient care in a matter of days, dispelling the value of travel nursing or flexible staffing programs is nearly impossible.

The ability to secure well trained clinical talent who is mentally competent to handle crisis events in a moment’s notice has now proven to be paramount to the success of our nation’s healthcare delivery. Enter the experienced Travel Nurse. Accustomed to and trained to enter facilities seamlessly and execute procedures unfamiliar to them is a way of life for Travel Nurses. Experts in change, Travel Nurses can provide critical care in the first hour of arrival, expecting from the start to outperform those around them.

A healthcare facility’s own Flexible Staffing Program plays no small part in its ability to provide needed staff as patient numbers fluctuate.  Affordable and proven options are available to assemble a modern, responsive, and sustainable internal Flexible Staffing Workforce. Now, more than ever is the time for Healthcare Leadership to investigate these new options.

Another pressing issue impacting the mobility of healthcare workers is state licensing. During the crisis, we have watched particular states outside of the compact license arena respond with temporary waivers for state licenses to secure needed clinicians for facilities in their states. We predict that the value of state compact license membership will become a more important consideration for those state legislatures that currently are not participating.

Moving forward hospitals, managed service providers, and individual agencies will need to collaborate more effectively to create mutually beneficial methods and sustainable incentives to attract and match available clinical talent to meet the needs of the greater good. Our lesson learned from this pandemic is that whether you are a medical facility or a provider of medical talent, regardless of your size, location, profits, margins, equipment, and technology, what remains constant is that our most valuable assets are our caregivers.

Be well,

Greg