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Federally Qualified Health Centers are a lifeline to the millions of Americans who rely on them for their healthcare. These community health centers serve 1 in 11 people across the country. As the healthcare sector faces unprecedented challenges, community health centers particularly are feeling the strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic and high demand for their services — a demand that will likely not fade soon.
Staffing shortages affected health centers long before the pandemic. Today, recruitment, scheduling and retention are more challenging than ever as physicians, nurses, social workers and others work increasingly long, demanding shifts. Health centers face employee burnout and a handful of risk management challenges, while trying to maintain the integrity of care they provide to an increasing number of patients.
Finding partners and solutions to these workforce issues will be key in helping health centers restore their footing, gain confidence in their current and future staff, and provide the utmost care to their patients — ensuring that underserved populations in our country will always have a place to help them thrive.
Employee safety and wellness link directly with retention. When employees’ safety needs are met and prioritized, their faith and trust in their employer increases. However, health centers can go beyond making sure that PPE needs and safety protocols are met. Offering benefits and wellness programs that prioritize employee health and their self-care can help employees effectively manage the stress and fatigue they are likely experiencing.
With fewer people entering the healthcare field, recruitment is competitive. Having a solid recruitment strategy that includes unique offerings to new hires and one that effectively reaches qualified community members, training schools and medical schools will make sure your health center stands out.
COVID-19 has brought on increasing concerns of risk exposures across healthcare organizations from tele-health liability to increased employee workers’ comp claims. Healthcare organizations are also pondering mandatory employee coronavirus vaccination programs, like already established flu vaccination programs, and asking how a voluntary or mandatory vaccination program may impact their risk and safety practices for staff and patients.
Evaluating staffing needs and risk environment changes and solutions on a regular basis will ultimately help community health centers address their challenges and confidently provide vital care to their communities.
To help address community health centers’ staffing and risk management concerns, PayneWest Insurance offers assistance with risk environment changes, current and ongoing coverage assessments, recruitment and retention, benefits and claims advocacy. To schedule a consultation, please contact insurance advisors Jedean Corpron or Jenna Weber.