Healthcare Staffing Tips for Flu Season - Moonlighting Solutions

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Healthcare Staffing Tips for Flu Season

As the 2019-2020 Flu Season Rapidly Approaches...Is Your Workforce Ready?

By now your flu season preparation should already be in process, but there is still time to make necessary adjustments and plans before the annual viral outbreak arrives. Flu season presents multiple challenges for hospitals and healthcare systems, including an increase in patient volumes and inpatient census, combined with absentee staff members due to illness (flu). Additionally, the holiday season partially overlaps with flu season, and vacation schedules create additional challenges for healthcare and hospital administrators.

Below are a few tips for managing flu season this year, from our operations team.

Review, Assess, & Plan Ahead

Begin planning for flu season by reviewing the processes and procedures from previous years - what were some of the challenges that could be avoided this year with different plans?

Assess your current staff, vacation schedules, and projected patient volumes and census for the flu season.

Once you've reviewed all of the above, you can plan for this year with necessary adjustments. Additionally, review your policies and procedures for flu season.

Planning Tips & Questions:

  • What is your flu vaccination policy for staff? Is it compliant with OSHA and CDC recommendations?
  • What is your staff policy for sick days and returning to work? Do they need medical clearance before returning?
  • What is your patient visitation policy during flu season? Do you limit visits by age or health status during flu season? Adding some restrictions may decrease stress on staff and minimize spreading of the virus.
  • Revisit education initiatives and make sure all employees are current on best practices for hand-washing, antiviral medications, masks and PPE, while working with or near infected patients.
  • Be prepared to add personnel for the busy season. Assemble resources and engage third party vendors in advance.
  • Consider utilizing physician moonlighters to help manage the increase in patient volume during flu season.

Moonlighters Solve Seasonal Staff Planning Challenges:

Administrators often turn to locums firms for assistance during the flu season. However, physician moonlighters are a great resource for flu season as well. The advantages to utilizing moonlighters instead of locums, or in addition to locums / travel docs include:

  • No monthly minimum shifts required
  • US-Trained BC/BE physicians from academic centers with full malpractice coverage
  • On average, save 20-30% on contingent staffing costs working with moonlighters
  • Coverage for any specialties needed including intensivists, hospitalists, cardiology, urgent care, primary care, etc.
  • Moonlighters help prevent seasonal burn-out among your full-time staff physicians
  • Gain additional resources and operational assistance by working with the team of account managers and other operational experts at Moonlighting Solutions. In addition to assisting clients with scheduling, licensing and credentialing, we also integrate with your flu documentation initiatives, such as vaccinations, etc.

 

Adequate Staffing is Critical for Flu Season:

“Most hospitals increase staffing during the flu season in anticipation of an influx of patients. They also need additional healthy workers to step in for sick employees, with temporary healthcare staffing agencies often used to fill in the breach.”

Ashok Selvam - Modern Healthcare 

 

Learn More - Additional Resources

 

To learn more about how to ensure adequate staffing in time for flu season, contact your account manager today. If you are new to Moonlighting Solutions or are unsure of your contact person, please contact Mike Guenther directly at (908) 783.0678.