Tackling Staff Shortages with On-Demand Healthcare Staffing

May 1, 2024

Hospitals and healthcare facilities across the USA are facing an unprecedented staffing crisis. Industry estimates show that 20% of healthcare professionals lost their jobs during the pandemic, with 30% being nurses. This shortage is prompting healthcare organizations to recruit on-demand professionals such as travel nurses, per diem staff, and locum tenens. Consequently, the healthcare sector has witnessed a surge in gig employment post-Covid-19, encompassing independent and short-term roles.

This blog examines how on-demand staffing has transformed the operational landscape of healthcare organizations amidst these pressing staff shortages.

Tackling Staffing Shortages with On-Demand Staffing

Filling Short-Term Needs: On-demand medical professionals assist organizations in meeting short-term staffing requirements that may arise from full-time staff vacations, leaves, or holidays. Per diem professionals typically work near their residences, while travel nurses are willing to work farther away. Organizations can readily summon per diem, travel nurses, or locum tenens at short notice or schedule them in advance to cover absences like vacations or maternity leaves.

Preventing Burnout: Nurse burnout poses a significant challenge for healthcare organizations, impacting job performance and patient safety. According to an Intelycare report, 75.8% of nurses experienced burnout in 2023. Per diem nurses, travel nurses, or locum tenens can help alleviate this issue by shouldering some of the workload as needed. The flexibility and availability of on-demand healthcare professionals are vital in ensuring seamless care and effectively combating workforce burnout.

Reducing Turnover: Offering support during peak periods or when regular employees are absent, on-demand healthcare workers lighten the load on full-time staff, preventing them from being overburdened. This, in turn, reduces turnover rates. Additionally, hospitals can prevent full-time employees from consistently working overtime by hiring on-demand healthcare workers. Such practices decrease staff turnover and ensure a balanced workload for the existing team.

Mitigating Understaffing: Understaffing poses a significant challenge for healthcare organizations, impacting patient outcomes and driving up expenses linked to recruiting new personnel. These expenses encompass training, recruitment, background checks, sign-on bonuses, and pre-screening. Simply hiring more staff isn’t always a viable fix. To address this issue, hospitals can consider employing locum tenens, travel nurses, or per diem staff to uphold optimal nurse-to-patient ratios without the burden of hiring full-time employees. This approach ensures patients receive top-notch care from a well-rounded medical staff team with a rich blend of experience and expertise.

A flexible staffing model with on-demand staffing is crucial to combat healthcare staffing shortages. This approach saves hospitals time and effort to recruit and train new staff, ensuring an optimal nurse-to-patient ratio. Swift action is imperative in the ever-changing healthcare landscape, and on-demand staffing offers a timely solution.

At iQuasar, we specialize in addressing staffing challenges by providing on-demand healthcare professionals like travel nurses, per diems, or locum tenens to bolster your existing staff during peak periods. Our focus lies in aligning the right individuals with the right roles at the right time, empowering you to promptly and effectively tackle staffing issues in your hospital. Contact us today to learn more about our tailored healthcare staffing solutions.

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