Roundtable Discussion #1
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.
How are you utilizing staff that might not currently be in high demand?
- 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.
How is your organization categorizing float pools of new resources by skill or competency?
- 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.
How are you handling employees exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19? Are you paying them differently?
- 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.
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.
- 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.
How are you moving resources into the telehealth realm?
- 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.