5 strategies hospitals are using to tackle staff shortages in 2023

Hospitals and healthcare providers are turning to a variety of options besides raising pay to help cope with staff shortages, according to Moody's April 2023 edition of Healthcare Quarterly.

The strategies include:

Contract labor utilization: Temporary contract labor has been used to fill gaps during the pandemic. "We expect healthcare service providers to continue to rely on contract labor to fill gaps, although at a more moderate level going forward," the report said. 

Telehealth programs: Expanding telehealth and telenursing programs have provided flexibility to existing staff and allow hiring of remote workers.

Non-monetary benefits: Benefits outside of wages such as flexible scheduling, travel programs and more focus on work-life balance have been used to address employee burnout.

Direct investment in workforce: Making investments directly tied to the workforce were recognized as "credit positive" in the report. In one example, Option Care acquired Infinity Infusion Nursing and Specialty Pharmacy Nursing Network to bolster its workforce to more than 3,000 nurses.

Shifting tasks away from higher-paid clinical staff: Some healthcare companies are shifting non-clinical tasks from physicians to improve their productivity and reduce burnout.

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