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Medical Personnel Shortage: Evidence-Based Proposal

Introduction

Medical personnel shortage is the main threat to the modern worldwide healthcare system and one of the leading healthcare barriers. There are several reasons for this issue, including the aging and retirement of medical workers and their transition to higher-paid jobs. It leads to the remaining of their positions being vacant for a long time. In addition, most young people do not have a desire to devote their lives to medicine. In this regard, one can identify that an effective solution to this problem will be a system of rewards and motivation for medical staff.

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Problem or Issue

Among the existing healthcare barriers, one of the most relevant is the shortage of medical personnel. For the record, this problem became especially acute during the Covid19 pandemic. It is often the case that there are several patients per nurse. The lack of qualified personnel leads to difficulties for people to receive standard medical services. In turn, this leads to an increase in mortality among the population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2021), a projected shortage of health workers will be 18 million by 2030, particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries. It determines a modern and effective solution to this issue; otherwise, the regular provision of medical services may be under threat.

As it has been already noted, the main problem is doctors’ transition to other professions or the unwillingness of people to engage in medicine. Thereby, one should increase the motivation and incentive of future medical personnel. It is possible by introducing a modern system of monetary incentives and awards for medical staff. The number of prizes and incentives would directly depend on the complexity and rarity of the employee’s qualifications, years of service, and special merits. Such a system should be freely available so that everyone can see that one could gain a good income on perspective. If engaging in the medical area would be followed by good work conditions and high salaries and bonuses, it would guarantee an influx of personnel.

Proposed Solution

Nowadays, the global health care system has also faced the problem of an aging population. Caitlin (2021) argues that increasing the population’s middle age leads to new and complex care needs. In this context, the employee incentive system, which would exist in the form of a fund, could rectify the situation. Thus, the most critical organizational resource would be financial support at the initial marketing stage. The main goal is to make as many people as possible be informed about this program. People who donate to this fund become shareholders who will receive special bonuses in return. These can include tax relief, perks at work, discounts on goods, and so on. In addition, governments and other stakeholders could benefit from innovative solutions and technologies (Janya et al., 2019). Therefore, money from the fund can also be directed to the development of new technologies. It would improve the quality of working conditions in the medical field, which would benefit both employees and the fund’s external shareholders.

Since this program is related to medicine, shareholders with expertise in the medical area would be required. It is necessary to clearly define the geographic areas that will be most suitable for interaction with the fund. Similarly, one should identify areas with the lowest numbers of young people admitted to the medical department. In such places, modern technologies financing would be to the point, increasing the number of future staff. For example, a unique three-dimensional virtual world program is designed to allow health care students to participate in interprofessional education (Liaw et al., 2021). Such programs, created in areas with the least medical students, would make medicine more attractive and practical.

The primary strategy of attracting investments would be based on a clear and transparent structure of benefits and bonuses for shareholders. Depending on the type of investor’s activity, various offers can add to the fund contributions. They could be a decrease in the tax rate for people in business, a discount on the purchase of raw materials for manufacturing companies, a discount on gasoline for freight companies, etc. For people engaged in international trading, one can decrease the rate for customs clearance of goods. Ordinary citizens can draw up a monthly deduction to the fund from their salaries, followed by an acceleration in their career growth and an increase in the premium level. The primary mission is to make people who want to support and improve the health care system see their benefits.

Consequently, the shortage of medical personnel issue may become threatening in the future. The solution to this problem could be a new, clearly defined program of incentives and rewards for health workers. The expected result of the program is a significant influx of new staff. This program which would exist in the form of a fund should work on the mutual benefit principle. Through such a foundation, each part of the program is interested in its development and acceleration. In turn, it would help to solve the problem of shortage of medical personnel quickly and efficiently. In addition, the hope is that the healthcare industry will be more aware of the risks and symptoms of fatigue. Understanding is the first step, followed by self-care and wellness. It is possible to care compassionately for patients and be an excellent nurse while also practicing compassionate self-care!

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Implementation Plan

In the present day, staff shortage may be regarded as a real issue experienced by many companies. This problem has a highly negative impact on the organization’s performance and development in the future and should be solved in a time-sensitive manner. Thus, it is essential for management to develop an efficient implementation plan to reduce staff shortages. First of all, it is critical to conduct in-depth research and workforce analysis of a current situation to define further actions. This investigation should include:

  • Identification of staff shortage’s reason. In general, there may be both external (market situation, economic crisis) and internal (inappropriate organizational culture) factors that cause a shortage, and they determine subsequent responsive measures (Buchan et al., 2019).
  • Determination of current workforce. To structure the current workforce, employees should be grouped according to their age, gender, skill level and experience, length of service, and other categories. Moreover, workers may be surveyed to identify their specific needs and preferences. This analysis will also be helpful for the retention of already working and new employees.
  • Determination of future workforce. To know what kind of employees are required to minimize shortage is necessary for efficient organization of human resources attraction campaign.

Regardless of its activity, any company has stakeholders concerning its staff shortage, including general management, department administrators, educators, HR management, legislative regulators, labor unions or professional associations, employees, clients, and society. All of them may influence staff shortage and contribute to its reduction. While internal stakeholders will take actions within an organization to attract and keep employees, external stakeholders may be responsible for changing external factors that cause a shortage, such as education, laws, and economic situation (Buchan et al., 2019).

In general, a workforce action plan dedicated to the minimization of staff shortage should include the following approaches:

  • The attraction of potential employees. This strategy implies the use of all possible mass media sources and activities of the human resource department to attract the most suitable candidates and organize training to develop a competent and culturally diverse workforce (Furnell et al., 2017).
  • Analysis of current processes for its optimization. Existing staff shortages should not negatively impact the organization’s performance – that is why it may be optimized. In other words, all non-essential tasks and procedures should be canceled to provide more skilled employees for significant and challenging activities.
  • Focus on retention. The fact that already working employees leave their job does not contribute to the reduction of staff shortage. That is why they should be motivated to stay per their demands and expectations and relation to multiple social factors. Thus, a comfortable working atmosphere should be created to keep the workforce and increase productivity. In addition, those workers who work more due to shortage should be reimbursed.

After the implementation of an action plan, it should be monitored, evaluated, and reviewed. The general manager should answer three main questions – Was the desired result achieved with the implementation plan? If not, what may be changed to improve outcomes? In this case, how will the situation change? Thus, the successful implementation of an action plan is determined by reducing staff shortages in a company due to the attraction of new employees and the retention of working ones. However, plan implementation may face specific barriers, such as financial constraints and a lack of interest of potential candidates to the company (Quirk et al., 2018). In this case, it may address professional associations for support and provide appropriate working conditions.

Timeline

This change plan faces a significant impediment due to the hospital administration and management’s inability to modify how nurses are treated in the context of their excessive workloads. Even though current hospital nurses have expressed their dissatisfaction with their jobs and the working environment, management appears to have overlooked the nurses’ call for immediate change and is preparing to engage with the shortage of nurses by marketing sign-on bonuses to hire new employees rather than implementing recommended changes to keep the existing nursing staff on board. As long as the previously mentioned retention strategies are utilized, hospitals will save money and provide a better working environment for their employees. It will demonstrate to nurses that the institution is dedicated to keeping them employed and increasing their employment satisfaction.

The government, medical staff, general management, department administrators, educators, HR management, legislative regulators, labor unions or professional associations, employees, clients, and society are crucial in ensuring adequate healthcare staff. These stakeholders grant the proposed plan, increase the success, reduce risks and provide expertise. Stakeholders are a gold mine of information regarding current procedures, historical data, and industry insights. For the sake of understanding the project’s restrictions and risks, stakeholders might give needs or constraints based on industry knowledge. The more stakeholders are involved, the more the proposed plan’s risks will be reduced and uncovered. Collecting and revising proposed plan requirements with critical stakeholders improves the success of the project.

The possible communication strategies for the internal and external stakeholders include:

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  • Establishing goals for the communication.
  • Choosing a suitable communication medium.
  • Communicating the message clearly and concisely.
  • Monitoring feedback and follow-up.

Setting a goal for stakeholder communication will need careful planning. It is critical to check in with recipients to see whether they understood what was said, and if not, to offer clarification or further information. When interacting with stakeholders, it is critical to think about the language to use. Either way, make the writing simple and easy to follow. The use of dense, opaque corporate jargon is confusing and abstract. When communicating with stakeholders, it is critical to do so in an acceptable, appropriate, and considerate way of their time. Setting a communication objective aids in the development of a more focused message. The ultimate aim will dictate the language, format, and media to be used.

The change plan will ensure that healthcare staff is adequate to provide quality health care to the patients. There is evidence to suggest that having enough nurses on hand can have various advantages, including better treatment, a lower death rate within 30 days after admission, and improved patient satisfaction and retention. Safe staffing can even lower the cost of patient care by reducing the length of hospital stays, the likelihood of readmission, as well as the number of injuries sustained by patients (Chanchaichujit et al., 2019). A better nurse-to-patient ratio may ensure that the correct procedures are in place and that undesirable occurrences will not prolong hospital stays.

Evaluation Plan

The proposed change initiative discussed in the change proposal topic and implementation plan aims to mitigate staff shortages in health care settings. According to World Health Organization (WHO), nursing and other medical staff deficits will reach over 13 million by 2035 (Marć et al., 2018). Staff shortages in medical facilities can lead to staff burnout, dissatisfaction, high turnover rates, and errors, contributing to increased mortality and morbidity rates. Therefore, it is essential to implement an effective change initiative in hospitals and design an efficient evaluation plan to assess the outcomes. Furthermore, the implementation results should be distributed internally and externally to support and encourage changes in other organizations. This report will outline the evaluation and dissemination plan for the change initiative concerning staff shortages.

The evaluation plan will focus on analyzing the achieved outcomes and whether the desired change was successfully reached through the implementation of the proposed project. Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) evaluation model will be used for the assessment and continuous improvement (Jagusiak-Kocik, 2017). Specifically, the Evaluate Plan Action Check Amend (EPACA) cycle will be utilized to thoroughly address any arising challenges with change initiation (Jagusiak-Kocik, 2017). After the implementation stage, the plan will be evaluated to ensure the proposed solution is practical in different health care settings. The desired results were achieved, and the gathered evidence supports the effectiveness of the change proposal. In the planning stage, the change initiative will be reevaluated to address specific problems in the implementation process. Next, actions to improve results will be undertaken and assessed in the check stage (Isniah et al., 2020). Finally, the amend phase of the evaluation plan will allow correcting any steps in the change plan. Overall, the PDCA evaluation model promotes continuous improvement and will enable the organization to monitor implemented changes and future improvement opportunities.

Dissemination plan

The findings of the implemented change initiative will be disseminated internally and externally. Internal dissemination will involve a written report on the project and its outcomes being distributed to all heads of departments. In addition, a meeting with all stakeholders can be held after the evaluation procedures are completed, and the results of the change implementation process are assessed. It is proposed to allow all organization employees to access the findings to share insights and illustrate how it addresses such vital issues as staff shortage. The written report will be available three months after the project’s completion.

External dissemination will involve a study on the project being distributed to scholar databases, publications, and other healthcare organizations’ heads. The report will be formulated and shared six months after project completion to allow appropriate time for data analysis, interpretation, and commentary from the stakeholders within the organization. The report will include the description of the used logic model, change proposal, initiation plan, and projects findings and outcomes. In addition, limitations of the project and considerations for future research will be included. The dissemination of the change projects findings will help share knowledge with other health care institutions and promote awareness of staff shortage in health care settings.

Conclusion/Summary

Medical personnel shortage is the main threat to the modern worldwide healthcare system and one of the leading healthcare barriers. Among the existing healthcare barriers, one of the most relevant is the shortage of medical personnel. For the record, this problem became especially acute during the Covid19 pandemic. The proposed solution to the staff shortage is to increase the motivation and incentive of future medical personnel. It is possible by introducing a modern system of monetary incentives and awards for medical staff. The most important organizational resource would be financial support at the initial marketing stage. The expected result of the program is a significant influx of new staff. It is essential for management to develop an efficient implementation plan to reduce staff shortages. First of all, it is necessary to conduct an in-depth research and workforce analysis of a current situation to define further actions. This change plan faces a significant impediment due to the hospital administration and management’s inability to modify how nurses are treated in the context of their excessive workloads. Staff shortages in medical facilities can lead to staff burnout, dissatisfaction, high turnover rates, and errors, contributing to increased mortality and morbidity rates. Therefore, it is essential to implement an effective change initiative in hospitals and design an efficient evaluation plan to assess the outcomes.

References

Buchan, J., Charlesworth, A., Gershlick, B., & Seccombe, I. (2019). A critical moment: NHS staffing trends, retention and attrition. The Health Foundation.

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Caitlin, H. (2021). Palliative space-time: Expanding and contracting geographies of US health care. Social Science & Medicine, 268 (113377).

Chanchaichujit, J., Tan, A., Meng, F., & Eaimkhong, S. (2019). Healthcare 4.0: Next Generation Processes with the Latest Technologies. Springer.

Furnell, S., Fischer, P., & Finch, A. (2017). Can’t get the staff? The growing need for cyber-security skills. Computer Fraud & Security, 2017(2), 5-10.

Isniah, S., Hardi Purba, H., & Debora, F. (2020). Plan do check action (PDCA) method: Literature review and research issues. Jurnal Sistem dan Manajemen Industri, 4(1), 72–81.

Jagusiak-Kocik, M. (2017). PDCA cycle as a part of continuous improvement in the production company – a case study. Production Engineering Archives, 14(14), 19–22.

Liaw, Y. S., Choo, T., Wu, L. T., Lim, W. S., Choo, H., Lim, S. M., Choo, H., Lim, S. M., Ringsted, C., & Wong, L. F. (2021). Wow, woo, win”- Healthcare students’ and facilitators’ experiences of interprofessional simulation in three-dimensional virtual world: A qualitative evaluation study. Nurse Education Today, 105. (105018).

Marć, M., Bartosiewicz, A., Burzyńska, J., Chmiel, Z., & Januszewicz, P. (2018). A nursing shortage – a prospect of global and local policies. International Nursing Review, 66(1), 9–16.

Quirk, H., Crank, H., Carter, A., Leahy, H., & Copeland, R. J. (2018). Barriers and facilitators to implementing workplace health and wellbeing services in the NHS from the perspective of senior leaders and wellbeing practitioners: A qualitative study. BMC Public Health, 18(1362), 1-14.

World Health Organization. (2021). Health workforce.

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