3 reasons for challenges facing your healthcare center
by Louise Wahlström
Healthcare centers all around the world have many challenges. The same pattern can be found on a lot of the struggling healthcare centers – they can’t work proactively or create sustainable solutions that last. But what are the reasons for these challenges? That’s what this blog post is about.
1. Shortage of skills needed to meet the needs of the patients
Skills supply is the biggest issue facing almost every healthcare center today. It’s hard to find the right people to hire, and the competition for certain skill sets is fierce. Everybody wants to hire specialists who can meet the different needs of the patients.
Healthcare centers who fail to present themselves as an attractive place to work risk losing out on highly coveted skills. A work place that invests in the work environment of the staff have a competitive edge. The investment could for example be in tools that can ease the heavy work load. Those unable to make such investments risk being unable to recruit new people as well as losing staff who decide to move on to other employers. At the same time a big shift is happening when a large portion of the work force retire. When staff who’s been around for many years leave a certain skill set leaves with them as well. That means it’s even more important for you as manager to lay out strategies and create long term plans for retaining knowledge and skills, as well as recruiting new people.
2. Tech that creates problems instead of solving them
Staff at healthcare centers are used to tech that doesn’t work. IT systems that are supposed to simplify and save time, are doing the opposite. Where there’s more than one system they usually don’t work well together. The result of this is that the staff is losing time and the patients are getting a suboptimal experience. When the patients aren’t satisfied the credibility of the healthcare center is negatively impacted. Modern tech should be an asset that makes life easier for both staff and patients. If tech isn’t working the way it should it creates frustrations. This may lead patients to look for other care providers and staff to look for other employers.
3. Low availability
A lack of resources is a usual cause when the availability is low. Availability – regardless of if it’s impacted by opening hours or having the right skills on board – is constantly challenged when the demands on the primary care sector increases. If the primary care is supposed to be where patients go to first, instead of hospitals, then the funds need to be allocated to support that. Another issue impacting availability in a negative way is when managers don’t have time to put in the work to improve the availability. Today managers at healthcare centers within the primary care sector need to spend a lot of time putting out fires and making ad-hoc decisions instead of working proactively and focusing on long-term strategy.
A shortage of people with the right skills set available for hire creates a competitive climate between the healthcare centers in a region. Smaller centers might be stuck with old or non-functioning tech which makes it even harder for them to attract potential hires. At the same time there’s a huge pressure put upon the primary care sector to increase the availability towards the patients. All of these challenges are connected to a lack of resources.
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