Roundtable Discussion #1

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COVID-19 is a fluid, and unprecedented situation. Open cooperation among providers, peers, and colleagues is one of the ways we will get to the other side of this challenging time. With a focus solely on helping organizations effectively manage their staff – day-to-day, short-term, and long-term planning – Avantas is holding weekly, all-client calls as a platform to share strategies and learnings from across the country.

In our first roundtable discussion, Avantas facilitated a discussion around the best ways to utilize staff not in high demand, how to better leverage existing float pools, strategies for staff who become infected with COVID-19, ways to manage a centralized staffing office, as well as considerations for telehealth.

Here are the learnings from our first call, setup in a challenge – solution dialogue.


CHALLENGE:

How are you utilizing staff that might not currently be in high demand?

SOLUTIONS:

  • To ensure we are able to screen entrants to the hospital, we have moved ambulatory and PACU staff to entrances to conduct COVID-19 screening.
  • We are using the time for currently less in-demand staff to train clinical/non-clinical skill sets before the surge we are expecting.
  • We have implemented the “Buddy System” to expedite orientation.

CHALLENGE:

How is your organization categorizing float pools of new resources by skill or competency?

SOLUTIONS:

  • One facility is segmenting float pools in overflow units by four levels of skills; both clinical and non-clinical resources. Each skill set has a set of competencies they must complete to be in each bucket.

CHALLENGE:

How are you handling employees exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19? Are you paying them differently?

SOLUTIONS:

  • Some are working on pay codes that would allow staff to have a certain number of days off for exposure/diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • Appropriate places to quarantine are being established for traveler staff who contract the virus.

CHALLENGE:

Are redundancy plans in place for managing your staffing office? Are they able to work remotely to continue staffing onsite?

NOTE: Many Avantas clients have adopted central staffing strategies and technology to deploy staff throughout their organization. Many clients are extending these strategies to non-hospital locations used as temporary facilities.

SOLUTIONS:

  • Some clients feel that staffing teams need to be onsite for best, most efficient communication.
  • Other clients feel they need to be kept remote, as the enterprise staffing skill set is very difficult to replace quickly. If these staff members become ill it could have a major impact on operations.

CHALLENGES:

How are you moving resources into the telehealth realm?

SOLUTIONS:

  • One client is finding the utilization of clinical assistants has shifted and they are being utilized.
  • Others clients are finding partners in the industry and collaborating around their technology that’s already in place.

Be sure to check back weekly for a rundown of new topics and strategies, as well as new learnings on continuing challenges.

If you need staffing resources, please call our hotline at 800-887-1456.

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