A Staffing Plan Overview for Your Medical Clinic

February 12, 2020 | 846 views

A Staffing Plan Overview for Your Medical Clinic
A Staffing Plan Overview for Your Medical Clinic

Calculating full-time employees and efficiencies for a staffing plan is a science. Each productive (and non-productive) hour gets counted into formulas to determine the best staffing allocations for your clinic, your staff, and your patients. The nitty-gritty of man hours and staff levels are critically important, of course, but a high-level overview must come first. By collecting data on these areas, the final staffing plan will accurately reflect your clinic’s overarching plan which must come first.

Identify Your Needs and Challenges

Maybe you are chronically short of a particular specialty or have a high rate of turnover. Perhaps the next year includes significant growth plans or expansion into new services. Maybe half of the nurse practitioners plan to retire. Include all departments in this list of anticipated challenges to consolidate all the needs that must be met.

Evaluate In-house Resources

Review each specialty and department. Perhaps skills overlap or a gap can be filled by someone already on staff. Make sure that perceived gaps really are gaps in staffing. Involve your existing staff in this determination—you might find untapped skills and others willing to shift their responsibilities and contribute their knowledge to the clinic’s needs.

Know Your Market

This means both your patients and your region. Analyze your patient type. Based on your locale, you may have particularly high needs for geriatric services or uninsured patients. If physical therapy is in high demand, that will guide your future needs. Where hospitals are closing, you will need more emergency capabilities. From an HR standpoint, be well versed in regional pay scales and benefits packages. Before filling existing gaps in staff, it is important to be an attractive destination for prospective candidates. By being competitive, you will attract better applicants.

Think Outside the Box

To fill your staffing needs, consider part-time or retired physicians and nurses. You may not need a FTE for every position. Perhaps flexible hours will allow your existing staff to fill skill gaps at different hours. Staffing companies will have ideas and options, too, about how to provide the skill mix you need to meet upcoming staffing demands.

Measure and Flex

The best-laid plans still change—staff departures or unexpected leaves will require a regular reassessment of your staffing plan. And some plans need changing because they don’t work well. Your staffing plan must include measurements of success. If, for example, a particular shift is burning out because the workload is significantly higher than expected, staffing levels have to change so that people stay motivated, energized, and able to provide high levels of care. If you have researched internally and considered multiple options ahead of time, then it will not be as difficult to flex work shifts and personnel quickly.

Crunch numbers, measure hours, and understand your calculations to be efficient, but remember that they are part of a larger goal to provide quality health services with qualified staff. Your staffing plan will best meet future needs after examining internal challenges and resources, researching your own market, and amassing multiple options from various resources to meet your staffing needs.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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