Staffing shortages are nothing new but now the situation is getting downright dire. Yes, in 2021 a multitude of economic hammer-blows converged, and almost all are directly or indirectly related to the COVID-19 physical and governmental regulatory onslaught. A new industry survey indicates alarming realities:
- Only 1% of nursing homes and 4% of assisted living facilities (ALFs) say they are fully staffed
- 58% of nursing homes and 28% of ALFs say they are limiting admissions because of the above
- More than one-third of nursing homes and about one in five ALF operators say they are “very concerned” they’ll have to shut their doors altogether if the labor shortage does not turn around
- 99% of nursing homes and 100% of ALFs have asked staff to work overtime and take extra shifts
With these more-than-troubling conditions, what solutions are available right now, as you struggle to hire and maintain staff? One clear-cut simple solution is to partner with an elite answering service to assist with inbound calls.
Without compromising quality of service, an elite answering service – with solid experience in the home healthcare industry – can provide a wealth of immediate benefits when your staff is limited:
- Front-office back up including after-hours and weekend coverage as well as over-flow assistance during the day. No more missed calls or patients and family dealing with impersonal voicemail.
- Tremendous flexibility – an answering service can take calls as many or as little calls as needed, with no heads-up necessary
- Maintain customer satisfaction: patients and family members are greeted by a live person: a kind, compassionate and professional agent trained to manage calls in the healthcare industry
- Avoid staff burnout: – off-load calls to an answering service for immediate relief – while ensuring emergency calls are still managed properly
- Assist with additional tasks and services: trained agents will take caregiver call-outs, pass along requests for specialty appointments, contact account managers about new inquiries, filter unwanted and unsolicited contacts from telemarketers, and more. An answering service can skillfully handle a multitude of necessary, but inconvenient duties that might otherwise distract or your in-house team.
While staffing challenges are likely to persist, there is one fail-safe solution that home healthcare operations can turn to in times of need: the valuable partnership with an elite-quality answering service.