Looking Beyond Technology: How Revolution Cycle Leaders Can Address Staffing Shortages

Leaders have started to turn to technology to alleviate staffing shortages, but what can they do when implementing new technology isn’t an immediate option?

Revenue cycle leaders have begun turning to technology to fill in the gaps, as staffing shortages appear to be at an all-time high. In fact, one in four finance leaders they need to hire 20+ employees to fully staff their revenue cycle departments.

But what can revenue cycle leaders do when implementing new technology is not an immediate option?

For a short-staffed department, filling positions is a priority. But that’s easier said than done in today’s job market. Attracting candidates and selecting the right person for the job has always been a challenge, but revenue cycle leaders are finding that the pandemic has fundamentally changed what job seekers are looking for and what they’re willing to compromise on.

Specifically, employees are looking for remote work, according to Stacey McCreery, MBA, and Julie Teixeira of ROI Search Group. in an episode of The Revenue Integrity Show: A NAHRI Podcast, McCreery and Teixeira discussed how the expansion of remote work has affected the hiring and retention of staff.

Although the initial transition to remote work was challenging for some, most employees quickly found that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks, according to McCreery and Teixeira. Additionally, some organizations found that moving non-clinical departments off-site freed up valuable campus real estate and reduced overall costs.

Organizations that are still hoping to bring all staff back to the site full-time could find themselves at a disadvantage in the job market, McCreery and Teixeira said.

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Organizations need to keep remote and flexible work options on the table to remain competitive. However, this can be a tough sell for senior leaders accustomed to traditional work arrangements and reluctant to commit to long-term change.

“They want to see people in their seats, and they want to be able to walk around and see what they’re doing,” Geneva Schlabach, co-founder and CEO of VISPA, recently told the National Association for Healthcare Revenue Integrity (NAHRI). , for its acronym in English). ). “I think it will have to be a progressive change to allow for a more hybrid workforce.”

One VISPA client was initially resistant to expanding remote and hybrid work options, Schlabach says. However, as vacant positions became vacant, they eventually settled on a hybrid work model that allowed them to remain competitive in the job market.

It is not an all or nothing scenario. If leaders remain flexible with work-from-home options, it ripples through the culture and staff become more flexible in return, she says.

Leaders must lean toward change when employees leave, says Schlabach. Take a careful look at everything from job duties to job titles and consider what needs to stay the way it is and what needs an update.

Perhaps a revenue cycle department had multiple levels of managers and directors and a complex hierarchy of staff involving levels of team leaders. Re-evaluate the structure to determine if this still makes sense. If new workflows and priorities are developed, should old job titles and descriptions be grafted onto them without change?

“I think we’re at a point in health care where we need to review those titles,” she says. “We may have had this corporate structure that was much stricter at a time where maybe we can soften some of that and do things differently.”

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Amanda Norris is the revenue cycle editor for HealthLeaders.

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