Lessons from Leadership: The Current Evolution of Healthcare Staffing Models


Healthcare organizations today are faced with navigating through major changes as they try to embrace their “new normal” after the effects of the COVID pandemic. COVID has made it clear that traditional staffing solutions are inflexible and reactive, causing organizations to feel like they’re constantly playing catch up.

Medical Solutions’ Sr. Director of Client Growth Jake Whitmore discusses this and addresses factors that may make organizations reluctant to adopt new staffing models while sharing how having the right strategic staffing plan can help healthcare leaders achieve long-term success.

In his role, Jake is focused on leading the growth and development of client MSP (Managed Services Provider) partnerships to align Medical Solutions’ ecosystem of services with the needs of healthcare facilities across the U.S.

Q: Why Are Traditional Staffing Solutions Proving Unsuccessful?

The challenge of traditional staffing solutions realized through the pandemic was their inflexibility and reactive nature, which kept healthcare organizations continuously behind the curve. Too often, traditional staffing solutions have required an organization to fit into the solution rather than the solution being built around that organization’s specific needs.

The ability for healthcare facilities to shift into a consistently proactive state with their staffing practices truly comes from having the right balance of resources available to them and so be able to navigate any circumstances that industry trends present. Staffing solutions that can provide this scope of support use a balance of varied labor channels, predictive data forecasting, technology, and consultative human relationship to keep their valued partners ahead of trends and in control of their facilities.

Q: What Can We Do to Improve Our Current Staffing Model?

There are many factors that an organization must consider when assessing their facilities and the resources they are using to achieve the right workforce balance. There was a significant shift forced by the pandemic, and the make-up of that workforce is now seeing a rebalancing in the mix of core employees, travelers, local/per diem, international, and other talent channels. The pace at which these changes occurred has added complexity to the decision-making process around adopting new staffing models.

The good news is that there are no unbreakable barriers for healthcare organizations to overcome when looking at the challenges they need to address with a new staffing solution; they are more of a series of smaller speed bumps that may seem intimidating when looked at collectively. The key to creating action for change is to strategically prioritize the right action steps needing to be taken. These include:

  • Identifying the true “why” of how they do things which is often 1 of the 2 following answers: “That’s the way we’ve always done” it or “We don’t know.”
  • Challenging the current state and being open to new solutions that embrace the element of the generational shift in the healthcare workforce.
  • Having the right stakeholders involved in the process when considering different solutions – what matters most to a CNO is different from a CFO. However, the chosen solution should resolve all challenges and provide a long-term fix for the organization.

Lastly, there is an opportunity to fully understand the solutions themselves and how they continue to evolve in today’s staffing industry environment. The right staffing partners continue to position themselves to be a part of the larger solution for the healthcare staffing industry, and those leaders who embrace that will see the results earliest from what a true consultative partnership can create.

Q: What advice do you have for healthcare leaders who are deciding when and how to adopt new staffing solutions?

Taking a proactive approach is the key to making the right decisions and is what allows a healthcare organization to be nimble. We work with thousands of healthcare organizations throughout the country, and through the pandemic, we saw a common theme with some of those new relationships—no defined staffing plan was in place.

Having access to an ecosystem of resources gives you something your organization can lean into to adjust to whatever circumstances are happening in the industry. When you do this, your organization will put itself in a position to control all the factors you can and remain ahead of the curve, even when impacted by factors out of your control. Prioritize choosing a sophisticated staffing partner for a long-term relationship with the size, scope, capability, and flexibility to support your organization on multiple levels.

Look for a true partnership that is consultative in nature where the staffing partner considers themselves an extension of your healthcare organization. They will work closely together to align their efforts and help your facility/system achieve its directives and goals. A strong partner strives to cultivate a lasting and meaningful relationship built on a commitment to doing the right thing and emphasizing delivering the highest standard of bedside care as the central focus of their actions.

Your Healthcare Talent Ecosystem

When you join with the right total workforce solutions partner, they will help you create a strategic talent acquisition and retention strategy based on your organization’s unique needs. This partner will prioritize your success and approach doing so with a commitment for the long-term.

Reach out to Medical Solutions today to learn more!

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