Medical providers nationwide are facing a major challenge – a critical allied health staffing shortage. From physical and occupational therapists to medical assistants, dental hygienists, sonographers, and more, the demand far outpaces the supply of qualified candidates. 

Certain allied health fields are projecting explosive job growth over the next decade. As the country’s population ages, requiring more healthcare services, this talent gap will only widen without proactive solutions implemented now. 

Impacts on Healthcare Providers

For clinics and practices, staffing shortages can devastate operations. Patient volumes plummet, revenues decline, and – most importantly – the quality of care suffers. Overworked employees quickly burn out, which can perpetuate the turnover cycle. Attracting and retaining allied health talent must be a top priority. 

Allied Health Staffing Shortage Solutions

Get Creative with Recruitment 

Competitive compensation helps, but money is not the only solution. To effectively recruit top local talent, providers must get creative. Partner with nearby colleges, trade schools, and even high schools to inspire future allied health professionals. 

Consider non-traditional candidates outside the healthcare field for roles like medical technicians.  

Prioritize Robust Retention 

Retaining staff requires cultivating an engaging workplace with ample growth opportunities. For example: 

  • Implement mentorship training by pairing new hires with experienced team members. 
  • Invest in professional development, tuition assistance, and other continued education opportunities. 
  • Build an energizing culture with employee resource groups and recognition programs. 
  • Clearly define career advancement pathways for promotions and specializations. 
  • Help prevent burnout with wellness benefits, reasonable workloads, social support, and more. 

Leverage Technology 

Adopting technology in your workplace can ease staffing burdens, as well. These are just a few platforms your organization can utilize to help attract and retain employees: 

  • User-friendly EMR/EHR systems tailored to your practice’s needs. 
  • Telehealth platforms that enable remote patient visits and follow-ups. 
  • Mobile apps that take on charting and scheduling can help simplify administrative tasks.  

Promote Unique Perks 

Allied health clinics and providers can highlight family-friendly schedules, like an 8-5 shift with no weekends or holidays. This is a major advantage over hospitals and other facilities when recruiting. 

And, to bridge the gap in rural areas, highlight the benefits of small-town living: short commutes, low cost of living, and neighbors who look out for one another. 

The Winning Strategy for the Allied Health Staffing Shortage

Overcoming allied health staffing shortages requires a creative and proactive approach. This includes proactive local recruiting, prioritizing retention, and optimizing operations with technology. All this goes a long way to bridge the talent gap and position your clinic as the premier employer of choice for top talent.

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