Healthcare Staffing Solution: Employees that Work from Home

Today’s medical practice is faced with more challenges than any of us can remember. These include reimbursement issues, technology demands, pressure to change workflows, tightening labor markets (despite national unemployment figures), and general uncertainty about the direction of our healthcare system.

Almost any challenge can be solved with two things: money and people. Unfortunately, most practices aren’t sitting on excess cash just waiting for ways to put it to use.

And, in many locales, the market for people with the right kinds of skills or aptitude has seemingly dried up altogether. Where are the nine-plus percent of unemployed people anyway?

Fortunately, there is a way around this workforce dilemma. If you’re willing to look at the problem differently, make easy but effective use of technology, and apply some creativity, you’re halfway there.

Healthcare Staffing Solution
I stumbled upon this solution with my own firm, and it has worked out beautifully. At about the time our company was ready to expand, I was fortunate enough to discover what I call, “the hidden workforce.”

That is, a source of highly reliable, educated, accomplished people whose lifestyles demanded changing their career path, yet their energy and motivation hadn’t subsided.

In a few cases, it was women who decided to leave their jobs in order to stay at home to raise their children — the so-called “stay-at-home moms.” (Of course, stay-at-home dads could also fit this bill.)

In another case, it was a Vice President of an insurance company that accepted an attractive severance package during his company’s restructuring.

With today’s cloud-based technology, it was easy to get these workers as productive as if they were working in our office. Admittedly, they might even be more productive working from home than being onsite. Besides the office distractions and energy drainers, just think of how many unproductive hours each year the typical worker spends commuting.

We chose to have them work part-time, but they could just as easily have become full-time workers. Indeed one of them has, now that her children are away at college.

Benefits of Off-site Employees
This solution has been a win-win. Our firm acquired top-tier, loyal talent, while these individuals remained active, productive contributors to both their employers and their households. Sure, it has required flexibility, trust, and careful oversight — especially at first — but onsite workers really don’t require much less.

If you think about the current needs of your practice, you’ll probably find many jobs that could be done remotely, such as billing, transcription and clerical tasks.

As you look forward and contemplate future labor needs under a population health system, such as the need for data analysts, the offsite option becomes even more compelling.

As you consider these current and future tasks, you may find that several could be done at any hour of the day, further accommodating workers’ scheduling needs. When you extend this kind of flexibility to a potential employee, suddenly the job looks that much more attractive.

Now, if we could only come up with something for that lack of excess cash lying around…

Jim Gibson founded Gibson Consultants in 2002 after careers in healthcare IT and group health insurance. Gibson Consultants is a search firm specializing in executive and management level hires for healthcare IT companies.

Free e-book:

Pros and Cons of In-house vs. Outsourced Medical Billing

Download Now!

Start typing and press Enter to search