2022 was one of the most financially straining years for hospitals, according to a Kaufman Hall study of 86 hospital and health system leaders.
The report notes that the drastically declining workforce remains a top challenge for hospitals, as two-thirds of the respondents state that their facilities have been operating at less than full capacity because of the shortage. Because of these shortages, patients aren’t getting the prompt care needed to make full recoveries, leading to longer care stays, delayed discharges and a higher likelihood of readmission.
These compounding factors have made it challenging for hospitals to navigate the complex financial landscape. However, there were two key strategies noted throughout the report that have helped hospitals improve the clinical and financial outcomes of their organizations.
- Recruitment and retention initiatives: 100% of the surveyed hospitals noted that they have integrated some type of recruitment and retention strategy. With factors such as labor shortages and inflation creating a barrier to hiring and retaining qualified staff, hospitals are putting forth incentives to attract the best talent possible.
Specifically, 98% stated they raised starting salaries or minimum wage, while 84% also introduced signing bonuses. Additionally, 58% introduced more shift differentials to alleviate off-hours and weekend coverage staffing challenges.
These incentives are a critical long-term strategy for hospitals, especially with the increasing popularity of travel nursing and the often higher pay rates associated.
- Partnership: 63% of hospital leader respondents noted they have pursued at least one outsourcing solution. A main pain point of the survey centered on patient access and physician expertise. Having a qualified partner with local and national reach, and expertise to help address these issues is vital.
Additionally, several survey respondents shared that their organizations are moving away from an “own and control” mentality. Instead, they are focusing on what they do well and seeking partners who can provide other services more efficiently or effectively. One interviewee emphasized that her organization looks for partners who are willing to share in the risks as well as rewards through joint-ventures and other partnership structures.
As financial stability and performance remain top of mind for health leaders, it can be beneficial to identify areas where specialized expertise from trusted partner can help the hospital as a whole.
Learn how Lifepoint can help address staffing shortages and can help improve outcomes.
Read the full report.