Stress, Stamina, and Service: Exploring Healthcare’s Most Demanding Jobs

Healthcare workers are some of the most commendable and hard-working professionals in modern-day society. From dealing with high-pressure situations on a daily basis to picking up the slack caused by professional shortages in the industry, these professionals put their own health, safety, and well-being on the line to perform admirable tasks.

However, not all healthcare worker roles are created equal. Unfortunately, some specific healthcare professionals have to endure some of the most difficult experiences in their roles.

Gaining a clearer perspective on which healthcare positions are the most difficult and demanding can provide one with a deeper appreciation of these commendable professionals.

Here is an exploration of healthcare’s most demanding jobs.

Nursing Roles

While many are aware that nurses have a difficult job, far fewer realize just how strenuous and stressful these jobs can be.

In nursing, there are a variety of roles that these professionals can step into. These include roles such as advanced practice nursing roles and registered nursing roles. When it comes to these specific nursing roles, each one comes with its own unique challenges and obstacles that professionals must overcome on a consistent basis.

Here are some of the most demanding nursing roles in the current healthcare landscape.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses can be seen as the backbone of the modern American healthcare system. From assessing patients to administering medication to educating those they treat; these healthcare professionals are kept busy from the moment they clock into work.

The wide variety of technical tasks and the high-pressure situations that nurses find themselves in on a consistent basis are some of the reasons that this is such a demanding role.

Sadly, in today’s evolving world, this isn’t the only reason that these professionals have such difficult jobs.

Today, there is currently a massive nursing shortage that is affecting scores of medical facilities across the nation. As a result of this shortage, nurses now have to pick up the slack and perform more tasks than they really should need to.

The combination of already difficult tasks with understaffed working environments makes the roles of these professionals exceedingly difficult. For this reason, many would-be nurses are foregoing obtaining their nursing licenses because of the increasingly demanding nature of registered nurse roles.

Travel Nurses

Travel nurses are one specific subset of nurses that can have a particularly grueling professional life. In essence, these are highly skilled nurses who travel to various locations across the country to help different medical institutions address their nursing shortages.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel nurses played a key role in ensuring that patients across the country received the care they needed. Unfortunately, despite the importance of these healthcare professionals to the healthcare ecosystem, they work in incredibly difficult professional environments.

Given the nature of their role, travel nurses are constantly working in understaffed facilities. Typically, these hospitals are incredibly busy and hectic, increasing travel nurses’ risk of developing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and burnout.

If this wasn’t enough, travel nurses must also constantly travel to different locations across the country. This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with one’s family and friends, often resulting in feelings of isolation.

For these reasons, travel nurses have some of the most grueling and demanding careers in healthcare. However, it must be noted that because of the unique and difficult nature of the travel nurse career path, these professionals typically command higher salaries than their registered nurse counterparts.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists have incredibly demanding jobs that can often take a toll on their personal lives and sense of well-being. However, they are incredibly helpful to countless people, and they play an important and invaluable role in the modern healthcare landscape.

Essentially, clinical psychologists help treat mental health ailments in the patients they serve. While they may enjoy aspects of their jobs, there are many ways in which the role can be incredibly draining and stressful.

When it comes to treating patients, balancing the needs of patients can be extremely difficult. This is especially true for those with more severe mental health ailments. On top of this, having to work with patients through harrowing experiences on a regular basis can also take a huge toll.

Given the draining nature of the clinical psychologist role, this job definitely should be recognized as one of the most demanding careers in healthcare.

Healthcare Professionals Should Be Commended

Nearly every healthcare professional role comes with its fair share of challenges. However, some specific roles are particularly grueling and require professionals to deal with a significant range of obstacles on a regular basis.

Fortunately, there are countless brave and committed professionals out there who step into these roles and strive to help patients. As a society, it is our duty to recognize the sacrifices of these individuals and shower them with the praise and commendation they deserve.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Five Technological Skills for Accelerating Your Healthcare Career

During the height of the pandemic hospitals were faced with an unprecedented demand for their services. At the same time, they were also forced to make do with fewer personnel than they were accustomed to as nurses and doctors resigned from their positions en masse.

For many hospitals, data implementation, and processing was a key aspect of staying afloat during Covid-19.

Since then, the relationship between digital technology and healthcare has only expanded. From digital healthcare records to data processing, and even AI-generated automation, there are now more ways than ever for people in the healthcare industry to weave tech skills into their professional life.

In this article, we take a look at five tech-related skills that people hoping to accelerate their careers in the healthcare industry should have.

Health Information Technology (HIT) Literacy

Healthcare-related records have been transiting into cyberspace for the last couple of decades. This development has had many positive impacts both for the patient— who can now access their health data any time they want it— and the hospitals, which can share relevant data in real-time as needed to expedite processes.

But there’s a flip side. Isn’t there always? When healthcare records were a physical thing, keeping them safe was straightforward. They lived in a protected room. Only authorized personnel were able to see them, and even then, all interactions were guided by HIPAA regulations.

How can you replicate that same level of security for something that exists in the vagueries of cloud-based technology?

Well, for one thing, it’s important to understand the new rules. Healthcare professionals are now expected and required to fully comprehend and comply with HIPAA regulations as they relate to digital technology.

By understanding the rules and general practices surrounding digital health, healthcare workers are able to streamline their workflows while boosting patient outcomes in the process.

Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring

Telehealth is the practice of treating patients remotely. Naturally, it isn’t a perfect fit for every situation. However, there are many circumstances in which it can be beneficial both to the patient and the hospital serving them.

On the patient end, telehealth technology makes it easy to get quick answers to simple questions. For the hospital, it allows professionals to treat a larger number of people in a shorter amount of time. Considering how bottlenecked the healthcare system is, this is an enormous boon for everyone.

However, it does require additional training and effort on the part of healthcare professionals. Modern doctors and nurses should be well-versed in the unique requirements of remote patient monitoring and telehealth consultations.

Administrators, meanwhile, should understand the world of virtual health, and be able to facilitate the needs of caregivers and patients alike.

Data Analytics and Health Informatics

We talked about the importance of data in the modern medical landscape at the beginning of this article. However, the value of having healthcare networks that are able to comprehend and leverage large datasets is difficult to overstate.

Hospitals that understand their numbers are able to maximize the impact of their resources. During Covid, this meant figuring out how to best prioritize care in the face of an enormous influx of patients. During ordinary times (such as they are in the context of a hospital) data access can help improve everything from community outreach to specific patient recommendations.

Naturally, the more specific and precise caregivers are, the better the patient outcomes are likely to be. But there is a problem. Traditional doctors and nurses aren’t necessarily well-versed in digital technology. Are there professionals out there who are adequately literate in data and health?

The answer to that question is yes. Informatics nursing combines both disciplines to equip hospitals with the skills they need to adequately serve their communities.

Administrators are also being trained in how they can use data to maximize the effectiveness of their resources and improve general workflows.

Cybersecurity Awareness

The healthcare industry is frequently the target of cybercriminals. Patient data has a significant resale value on the dark web, and cyber terrorists are also quite aware that they can create a great deal of fear with a few well-chosen healthcare-related targets.

This was made clear in the spring of 2019 when Ireland’s entire digital healthcare network was brought day for months by a group of Russian hackers.

While most people feel they are well-equipped to handle themselves safely online the reality of the situation is usually not quite so promising. It takes a significant amount of effort and training for healthcare workers to stay safe online.

Mobile Health (mHealth) and Wearable Technology

Wearable health technology has proliferated in recent years as IoT-powered wearables have grown in prominence and accessibility. These days, a significant portion of the population has access to some form of wearable health technology.

Even a Fitbit can produce meaningful health-related data that medical professionals can use to offer more precise patient care. And of course, that’s far from all that is out there. From heart monitors and pacemakers to glucose monitoring systems that hook up to smart devices, there are more ways than ever for healthcare professionals to view their patients’ information in real-time.

Mobile health monitoring is a vital skill that not only elevates the marketability of healthcare professionals but also vastly improves potential patient outcomes.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Exploring the Importance of Communication Skills in the Healthcare Industry

The world relies so much on the healthcare industry. It employs thousands of new workers every year. It’s where people go to get care and improve their holistic health. And we rely on healthcare professionals of various disciplines to develop new medicines, treatments, healthcare standards, policies, and so forth to drive health and wellness forward.

With so much riding on the healthcare industry, a lot can go wrong if any challenges aren’t adequately addressed. One of the most significant challenges is communication.

Let’s dive into why communication skills are so critical in the industry and how you can develop yours to work better with fellow healthcare professionals and deliver higher-quality care to patients.

Why Effective Communication is Critical in the Healthcare Industry

Effective communication is up there on the list of most important elements contributing to the healthcare industry’s success. However, without it, many of the healthcare industry’s problems persist, such as organizational silos and difficult patient relationships.

To avoid this, healthcare workers need to work together in several key ways to improve the patient experience.

Collaborate with colleagues in different departments

Organizational silos, as mentioned earlier, are an issue in the healthcare industry. It can typically occur when individual groups in an organization tend to stick to themselves. You typically see it with employees who work in the same department, role, or location.

Silos are dangerous because employees aren’t as forthcoming with information and documents with other departments, leading to a lack of communication across departments.

Excellent communication is the only way to facilitate interprofessional collaboration. You can’t collaborate effectively with other people in the absence of communication. You need to be able to reach out to anyone, disclose what you need, and devise a plan to get it done with that person or people efficiently. Patient and organizational outcomes depend on it.

Improve relationships and communication with patients

It’s no secret that many patients struggle with their relationships with their healthcare providers. For example, many haven’t developed a genuine enough relationship with their provider to be open and honest about sensitive information, impacting their ability to get the care they need.

Many patients struggle with the complex medical terminology doctors use and have difficulty understanding what to do. Or, there’s a lack of empathy shown by providers in emotionally-charged situations, which ultimately convinces a patient not to come back.

Fortunately, most of the challenges with patient relationships and conversations can be solved with effective communication.

Something as simple as sitting down with a patient for conversations rather than standing over them can make the patient feel more comfortable with you. Speaking in plain language and ensuring everything is confidential can help build trust and open up the lines of communication for better relationships as well.

Better working conditions at healthcare organizations

One of the reasons poor communication exists in the healthcare industry is because of unmanageable workloads. A 2021 Mercer study suggested that we’ll be just over 3 million healthcare workers short in critical healthcare occupations like nursing assistants come 2026.

This means more demanding work schedules for those who are employed in the industry., and, in turn, a rise in burnt-out healthcare employees who have no choice but to rush through appointments with patients to meet the demand.

This leads to poor communication because they can’t spend the time they need to with patients to ensure they fully understand what’s going on with their health and how to address it.

With effective communication skills, you can speak up about the work schedule you need to ensure quality patient interactions. You can advocate for better work schedules and encourage others to do the same.

In addition, when you effectively communicate with your managers and colleagues, you can determine how to best support each other’s needs.

Practical Tips for Developing Your Communication Skills

Effective communication is obviously a must-have in any healthcare organization. As important as it is for the entire industry to adopt good communication practices, you only have control over what you do.

It’s essential to lead by example and develop your communication skills first. That will hopefully inspire your colleagues, managers, and other staff around you to do the same. You can do that in the following steps:

  • Determine how your communication style can improve. Start with understanding where you fall short with communication and examining each interaction you have with patients and coworkers.
  • Make every patient and coworker interaction an opportunity to improve your communication skills. Set a communication-oriented goal for the day and do it in every conversation. For example, if your goal is to grow your listening skills, you could ask two follow-up questions in every patient or colleague interaction to work on active listening.
  • Learn all of the communication tools implemented by your organization. Unified communications on a single platform in the workplace make real-time communication across departments doable, thus enabling more accurate and efficient patient care. Set aside time each day to get to know the features and functions of your unified communications platform. Make a list of any other communication tools your organization uses and get familiar with those as well.

When going through each step, take your time. The more care you take in evaluating your communication style, the more you’ll understand how you can improve and how you can make the patient experience all the better.

Conclusion

The longer poor communication exists in the healthcare industry, the more time it will take to achieve high-quality patient care for everyone and seamless communication across departments and facilities.

Do your part in achieving effective communication within your organization by growing your personal communication skills with the tips above.


Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Tech Investments That Are Worth It for Medical Practices

There are tech solutions out there for all kinds of business needs these days, from social media management to payroll. As a small business owner keeping an eye on expenses, knowing which tools are worth investing in isn’t always easy. The question is especially tricky for healthcare businesses, which also have to worry about issues like HIPAA when it comes to tech. Here, HealthJobsNationwide.com explains which software investments are worth it for medical providers.

Electronic Health Records Tools

Electronic health records, EHR, are the way of the future. They offer a streamlined, easy-to-manage means of compiling all patient data in one simple place. It’s easier for healthcare providers to access a patient’s full medical history within seconds. An EHR solution that is made specifically for medical practices will allow you to oversee everything from prescribing to practice management in one spot.

Cybersecurity Tools

Cybersecurity is a critical issue for medical practices, as they need to keep patient data safe from hackers, leaks, and other threats. This isn’t just a “nice to have.” Under HIPAA, it’s a must, legally. Software Testing Help includes a roundup of cybersecurity tools that can help keep your practice safe. For example, MailControl helps keep emails secure, while Comodo offers a comprehensive solution to guard against malware and other threats.

Project Management Software

Medical practices that manage multiple projects can benefit from a software solution for this specific purpose. For example, if your practice is involved in clinical trials or research, you need to differentiate between these projects. ZoHo Projects is a cloud-based solution that lets you automate tasks, assign work, and even collaborate remotely. Alternatives include Trello, which lets you color code projects, and FreshTeam, which can help with recruiting.

A PDF tool

Patient records are only one type of documentation a medical practice has. You also have everyday business paperwork, from payroll documentation to medical supplier contracts. The best format for managing these documents is usually PDF. You get password-protect PDFs, for example, boosting security. With an online tool, you can easily convert other file types like Excel and Microsoft Word to PDF. Just drag and drop the document into the tool.

Automation Platforms and Tools

A medical practice that is looking to streamline its workflow and increase efficiency may want to consider investing in an automation success platform. By implementing automation, routine administrative tasks can be performed automatically, which results in massive time efficiencies and frees up staff to focus on more important tasks, such as patient care and physician support.

This technology is specifically designed for medical workflows, ensuring the accuracy and security of patient data while reducing manual errors and data entry time. With the right automation platform, a medical practice can increase productivity and profitability, while improving overall patient satisfaction.

Website Management Tools

A website is a valuable tool for your medical practice, serving as the first point of contact for potential patients. You can use the tool to share what types of care you offer and details about your credentials, like where you went to medical school or did your residency. Experts recommend medical practice websites establish a clear brand. Perks that patients look for in medical websites are appointment scheduling, a patient portal, and online bill payment.

Time Tracking Technologies

Your medical practice likely employs many different individuals, from nurses to cleaning staff and admin team members. You want to make sure that you’re accurately tracking your employees’ time, especially if they’re paid by the hour. According to Time Analytics Software, time-tracking software makes it easy to stay on top of the details with minimal effort. Options include Time Analytics, TimeCamp, and RescueTime. Some tools also let you track holidays.

Payroll Software

Finally, you want to make sure that your hard-working employees are properly paid. Again, there are tools specifically for healthcare providers that you can use to help manage payroll. A comprehensive solution can manage employee schedules, labor distribution reporting, and more, all in line with the relevant regulations for healthcare workers. This is generally a cheaper option than outsourcing your payroll to a bookkeeper or accountant.

Improve Your Practice with Tech

Technology investments for medical practices are worth it if done strategically. By embracing these modern solutions, practitioners can significantly improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery. It is crucial to research the available options, evaluate the investment cost, and ensure adherence to regulatory standards. Technology should be a tool to enhance healthcare, not a burden. And when used correctly, it can create a more patient-centered and effective medical practice.


By : Stephanie Haywood of MyLifeBoost.com


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Turn Your Healthcare RCM Metrics into Action & Drive Significant Financial Change

Delivering standard medical aid to the patients while maintaining profitability is the primary objective of every health care provider. Achieving this balance is no doubt the key to a successful health care business. Moreover, physicians seem more interested in keeping their finances stabilized than ever before. 

Achieving these financial goals are only possible through the effective management of the entire revenue cycle. Such as; patients’ scheduling, registration, charge entry, medical coding, claims submission, follow up, denial management, AR recovery and payment posting. However, we’ve been talking a lot about determining the key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of the revenue cycle. No doubt, determining the RCM KPIs is the key to know where your business stands in terms of profitability & productivity. So, once you determine the key metrics, then what’s next? 

Your financial success doesn’t just revolve around knowing the key performance indicators. But it’s all about taking steps to create and develop a strategic plan to accelerate your revenue cycle management. Turning the key RCM metrics into action can actually take your practice’s financial goals to another level. Do you want to create a strong financial plan but don’t know where to get started? 

In this article, I have come up with proven strategies to help you in deploying a solid plan to take your health care business to the highest levels of profitability. 

Know

First of all, decide the key performance indicators to track the performance of your physician billing system. KPIs can help medical care providers to increase the accuracy and the financial viability of their practice. However, the most common RCM metrics are as follow; 

➔ Days in Accounts Receivable

➔ Clean claims ratio (CCR)

➔ Denial rate

➔ Bad debt rate

➔ Net collections ratio

➔ Gross collection rate

➔ Referral Rates

So, decide the key performance indicators, then figure out how to track them effectively, collect data and analyze it. No doubt doing so takes a lot of investment in terms of both, time as well as money. Successful execution of these tasks doesn’t mean you have done it yet. Your goal must be to collect 100 percent of net revenue. Just make it more comprehensive, for example, the data shows that your net collections are only at 90%.  Which means that you are lagging behind your revenue goals. Now the next step is digging deeper into your medical billing systems to know the major causes. Which are holding you back from catching up with the billing collection targets. For instance, if you find that missing 5% revenue is due to the failure to collect the patient’s copays. And the remaining 5 percent is stuck in excessive claim denials due to certain reasons. It may seem like a small percentage. But it can cost millions of dollars in terms of lost revenue. The most common reasons behind insurance claims denials are: 

Insufficient or lack of documentation that supports medical necessity.

Incorrect charge capture. 

Missing/ incorrect patients’ demographic as well as insurance information. 

Lack of prior authorization. 

Invalid medical codes.

Duplicate billing. 

Do you find the reasons behind revenue leakage? If so, then Good Job! Now you have a complete understanding of how much money you are losing & why you’re missing it. It will pave the way to take further action to improve your billing collections.

Plan

Now you get to know how many dollars you are leaving at the table. And performed the detailed root cause analysis to get to the major causes of the problem. Now it’s time to make a proper plan to eliminate those issues. For instance, if the above-mentioned factors are leading to the claim denials and eventually revenue loss. Then move ahead.  Now get your entire revenue cycle team onboard including front desk and back-end teams to discuss what is going wrong and which action you can take to eliminate the red flags in the revenue cycle management. 

Furthermore, make sure that each person in the chain understands his/her role and is working diligently to execute their tasks in an efficient manner. More importantly, physicians should make sure that the rules are being assigned to the staff according to their skills as well as capabilities. Along with the assistance of the revenue leaders and your RCM staff, develop a method to correct the problem. Let’s take another example. If the incorrect medical documentation or the manual process of data collection, processing and medical billing is the reason behind declined reimbursements.

Then invest in the staff training and more importantly automation of the entire urology medical billing _ from patients scheduling to payment posting and all in between. Along with planning to transition from manual to advanced billing technology, also pay attention to the training of the administrative staff. At this stage, health care professionals should set quantifiable goals. That may include the desired percentage of clean medical claims i.e., 99%, and a timeline to achieve it. The best thing you can do is convert your plan into a precise and accurate document. 

Implement

With a plan and goals in place, it’s the right time to implement the plan that you’ve made so far. As we have earlier taken the example of manual billing methods and automation. So, you have decided to invest in automation. Make a budget for the purchase and maintenance of the cutting-edge practice management solutions i.e. EHR systems. Purchase the software and ensure its successful deployment within your physician practice. 

After the implementation of the Electronic Health Records (EHR), the next step is staff training. Because the utilization of EHR isn’t beneficial until your administrative staff have a complete know-how of its effective use. Providers need to understand that embracing innovation isn’t easy for their staff. So, give them time to understand the things, set a positive tone and help your team understand their tasks. 

Concluding Remarks 

Know, plan and implement solutions according to your financial needs and areas that need improvements. Once you implement the plans you need to track results and continue to review data and analytics to make sure the plan is working. Compare the outcomes before and after the implementation. Remember! Don’t forget to celebrate victories and give credits to keep your team motivated as well as onboard. 

Thus, this three-step approach can be applied to each key performance indicator you use to measure the success of your revenue cycle management. No doubt, it’s a daunting task. But you can simplify it by outsourcing your medical billing services to a professional billing collection agency. Outsourced RCM experts not only streamline your reimbursements. But also help you to determine, track and improve the key performance indicators, to ensure the continued financial stability as well as the sustainability of your practice.  


  JOHN LEE
 

I have a B.S in Human Services from Virginia Tech. I have worked in the medical billing and coding field for over 6 years. Currently, I am converting my passion into my words & writing content for publications regarding RCM. 


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Using Medical Technology To Make a Difference in Patient Health Outcomes

Medical professionals are often highly significant individuals whose careers greatly influence their patients’ quality of life.Their combination of education, experience, and skills also makes these  workers invaluable contributors to public health. This is the case whether they are doctors, nursing staff, or administrative professionals.

Yet, professionals’ efficacy is often dependent on being provided with the resources they need. At the moment, we’re seeing some significant advances in medical technology that support the knowledge and skills of healthcare staff. This can be as simple as efficient medical record-sharing platforms to more complex automated systems. How these tools are used can influence patients’ physical, mental, and emotional experiences.

Virtual Reality Training

Professional knowledge and skills are key to boosting the potential for positive patient outcomes. When professionals receive a practical and thorough education in their fields of expertise, patients tend to receive the care and effective treatment they need. One of the most important emerging tools for training medical staff is virtual reality (VR).

VR is playing an important role by simulating medical scenarios in a safe, repeatable, and relatively affordable manner. Students and professionals don’t need to practice new skills directly on patients in the first instance. Rather, they can be introduced to difficult situations and the tools needed to apply techniques and knowledge without putting anyone’s health at risk. This allows trainees to build confidence before transferring to real-life experiences. Not to mention that the software can be programmed to offer varied challenging scenarios to broaden the learner’s knowledge.

It’s also worth considering how these learning experiences can be more effective with an agile technological approach. Extended reality (XR) courses combine VR with augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) techniques. This enables medical professionals to not just practice in virtual realms, but also bolster their learning by interacting with physical objects and in clinical environments. This means that the medical technology they use is enhanced by tangible real-world experiences.

Remote Guidance and Telehealth

The use of remote medical technology has increased in recent years. It’s important for healthcare providers to continue exploring ways remote tech and teaching methods can have a positive influence on care.

For instance,  medical professionals can use telehealth and remote devices to improve patient education. This can include providing patients with access to smartphone applications they can use to monitor their wellness. There is a growing range of wearable tech that enables patients to gather, analyze, and share data on their specific conditions, too. These tools, combined with telehealth appointments with physicians, can help patients feel empowered to manage their well-being and be active participants in their care. This more engaged approach may positively impact a patient’s overall experience.

In addition, remote training courses can be important for medical staff themselves . While live seminars are important,  there are also medical e-Learning platforms that enable professionals to update their knowledge from wherever they are. This often involves a combination of video lectures or demonstrations and text readings, followed by online examinations. This can mean there is less need for professionals to travel for their training, resulting in potentially less disruption for patients. Not to mention that care standards will benefit from the most up-to-date information.

Artificial Intelligence Platforms

Artificial intelligence (AI) is swiftly becoming a familiar feature in many people’s lives. This includes the growing number of AI medical platforms. When professionals understand what role AI can play in various aspects of patient diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, it can be a powerful tool for better care outcomes.

At its core, AI in medicine involves software using machine learning to analyze patient data to provide insights to medical professionals. While this is certainly present in treatment research fields, AI is perhaps most prevalent at the moment as a tool for accurate and efficient diagnoses. When these platforms have access to high-quality data from a diverse range of patients, they can analyze the vital signs of individuals to alert doctors about risk factors that suggest specific conditions.

This may be particularly powerful when applied to difficult-to-diagnose conditions. For instance, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) often go undiagnosed because symptoms aren’t immediately obvious. Indeed, the signs — such as headaches and fatigue — can be nuanced, subtle, and even challenging to spot on current imaging technology. AI diagnosis tools may be able to analyze data on vital signs, imaging results, and wider industry data to detect the potential subtle indicators of a TBI diagnosis. The sooner diagnosis can occur, the more positive the patient’s outcome is likely to be.

Conclusion

There is an increasing number of medical technologies that can make a difference in patients’ health outcomes. This includes VR tools that support safe and effective medical training and remote telehealth tech for distanced health education for both professionals and patients. AI is also continuing its emergence in diagnostic tasks.

That said, it’s important to note that this just touches the surface of the tech that can boost patient outcomes. Professionals should take the time to explore just how rich the tech health landscape is, including 3D printing for prosthetics and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) for gene editing.

Clinicians should talk to patients about the possibilities and wherever possible get involved with clinical trials. There are so many exciting opportunities to improve care. By learning about these tools now or even influencing their applications in clinical settings, professionals continue playing a vital role in boosting patients’ quality of life.


Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Why Marketing Is Essential for Private Medical Practices

Consumerism across all industries has drastically changed the way professionals need to market their products or services, and the healthcare industry is no exception. With so many options available to patients today, healthcare facilities and companies must go the extra mile to market their business if they want to continue attracting and retaining new customers.

This is especially true for smaller, private practices. The field of private medicine is even more niche, which means you have to do even more to stand out against larger healthcare companies. It’s all too easy for someone to do a search and find the bigger, more popular facilities that can address their needs, but it’s much harder to find the smaller places that offer more specialized care and services.

The only way to make yourself known among the myriad medical solutions providers, general practitioners, and healthcare specialists, is to engage in marketing yourself. Marketing is essential for private medical practices for two main reasons — the first is somewhat obvious, and it’s the axiom that you can’t sell anything without marketing it first. Sure, you might be generated leads through referrals, but you can’t rely on others to market for you forever. The second reason is that your competitors are already doing it. They’re already fishing in your pond, and you’re never going to catch any fish without casting a line yourself.

Even if you are only comparing your business to other private practices, it is still a competitive market. Just because you offer specialized services does not mean you can simply sit and wait for patients to find you. You have to actively put your services out there and market them in a way that shows patients why they should choose your business over other private practices.

What is Medical Practice Marketing?

Marketing is the practice of using strategic outreach and communications to attract and retain customers. For healthcare workers and the private medical practice field, this specifically involves developing a marketing strategy that shepherds people through their healthcare journey from start (when they are just prospective patients searching the internet) to finish (or for as long as they remain a client/patient).

Some of the best medical practice marketing strategies utilize multi-channel tactics to target specific markets through the use of online and offline efforts to drive engagement. The more places your marketing is, the more new patients you will attract.

What Medical Practice Marketing is Not

To further help you understand what marketing is and how it can help your practice, let’s consider some common marketing misconceptions which could be influencing your hesitance about developing your own marketing strategy:

1. Marketing Is Too Expensive

Marketing is neither expensive nor inexpensive. Like anything you do or buy for your business that offers you a return on your investment, marketing is what you put into it.

If you buy a piece of cheap medical equipment, it might not really bring you the results you were hoping for, which means it might not end up being worth the money you paid for it. But if you buy the higher priced piece of equipment that is more reliable, it is a larger spend upfront, but in the long run, it’s not really expensive because it gets you a much higher return on your investment.

In this same vein, good marketing isn’t really expensive because of what it gives you; good marketing can be low-cost and still significantly boost your return on investment (ROI). No matter the cost, good marketing brings you more clients and patients. It increases your profits.

Of course, it’s also all about how you spend your money on marketing. If you have a quality, well-thought-out strategic plan, you can be more mindful of your budget and make the money that you do put into marketing go a lot further for you.

But if you simply throw your money at marketing that you haven’t really put the time and effort into, then yes, you might end up wasting that money, which means you might end up having made an expensive purchase that doesn’t deliver results.

2. Marketing Is About Quantity, Not Quality

As marketing has increased in popularity in recent years, many believe that you just need to constantly produce as much marketing content as possible to stay ahead of the game. But this just isn’t true.

A little time spent on quality marketing will go further than a lot of time spent on poor marketing. In general, good marketing still takes time and effort, but you don’t need to constantly churn out content if you do things well the first time around.

As a private medical practice, you don’t have the time to be a content-generating workhorse. And you don’t need to be. If you simply put in a little extra time and effort upfront, then you will have higher quality content that is more reliable and will deliver results over time for a longer period.

3. Marketing Is Only About You and Your Business

While your goal with marketing your practice might be about improving the success of your practice, your marketing should not center around you and your business. Marketing is really about your customers — your patients.

If you stand and shout, “hey, look at me, come look at my business and what we’re doing,” you might initially garner some attention, but today’s consumers are more discerning than they used to be. This means the marketing experience really needs to be about them, what your business can offer them, and how you benefit them — not the other way around.

If customers or patients don’t think you actually care about them and their needs and you are just trying to make a sale, then they won’t stick around. So your marketing shouldn’t be about you; it should be about them and what you can do for them. In fact, investing in community building is one of the most effective ways to humanize your brand — give to your customer base, and they will be much more likely to give you their business.

4. Marketing Isn’t Substantial Enough

While content marketing, such as the content on your website and blogs, is a big part of marketing, it is not the only part of it. If you want to expand your reach and generate more revenue, your marketing needs to be multichannel or a mix of different mediums.

A good website and website content is a great place to start, but simply building a website and paying for some blogs every now and then will only get you so far. Again, what you get out of your marketing will depend on what you put into it.

So when creating a strategy, consider all the avenues through which you can market your practice. This includes digital marketing, such as your website, blogs, e-newsletters, emails, social media, videos, podcasts, digital ads, etc., as well as traditional marketing, like print advertising and tv and radio ads.

The more varied your marketing, the more it will engage and attract your target audience. Consumers today like to be wowed. If you do the same thing over and over again, they will lose interest. As such, it might even be worth it to hire a third party that specializes in multichannel marketing solutions — at the very least, you know that you’ll be getting fresh and effective strategy and ideas.

How To Build a Quality Medical Practice Marketing Strategy

Now that you know the “why,” it’s time to start considering the “how.” How do you create quality marketing for your private medical practice?

There are so many ways you can go about this. There is no one right way to build a marketing strategy. And in many ways, it can depend on the specific needs of your individual practice. But we’ll cover the basics with a few of the best medical practice marketing strategies.

1. Build a Consistent Brand

Consistency is key in brand strategies and marketing, especially in the healthcare industry. Your audience needs to know exactly what to expect from you and to walk away from their experiences having had those expectations met. The way to do this is to build a strong and recognizable brand that delivers on its promises.

What is your brand—your practice all about? What do you care about? What kind of experience do you offer your patients?

Your customers need to know who you are — that they can trust you, and that you will deliver the experience that you said you would. This not only boosts your brand’s awareness but will result in higher customer retention rates.

2. Create a Quality Website

Seamless digital patient experiences are a must in today’s world of digitally savvy consumers. In healthcare, this starts with a quality website that patients can easily navigate and find exactly what they need. Websites are also a great way to collect consumer data that you can use to improve your marketing.

Think of your website as the face of your business. It is often the first thing a prospective patient sees when looking into your business, so it needs to make an impression. If your website isn’t good, chances are people won’t bother to come visit your practice in person.

A quality website with a seamless digital experience can make all the difference in the healthcare industry. If your website isn’t professional and engaging, then the customer will assume that your business isn’t professional and engaging.

3. Optimize Your Content to Improve Search Rankings

Again, one of the first ways a prospective patient discovers a new medical practice is through their website. The way they find that website is by conducting a search using sites like Google.

If you want your practice to be among the first results that pop up after someone performs a search, you need to be using SEO — Search Engine Optimization. SEO involves using keywords and phrases in your content to help people find you when they are looking for certain services.

For example, if someone needs help with a certain medical condition like diabetes, and your practice specializes in endocrinology, you would want to use specific keywords or phrases in your content related to that topic so your website will come up in search results for that person. If you don’t optimize your content, your website likely won’t rank high compared to your competitors, which means people won’t discover your practice as easily.

4. Boost Your Social Media Presence

Billions of consumers use social media today, and not just for socializing and posting pictures with their friends. Social media is a tool for discovering new brands, products, and services. So if your medical practice isn’t on social media, you are missing out on a large audience.

The notion that social media is unprofessional is outdated. Everyone is on social media, and it is an excellent way for your practice to engage your patients and prospective patients by posting tips, news, and other noteworthy healthcare information. This helps users keep you in mind when they require medical services.

Wrapping Up

These are just some of the tactics you can use to get started, but the important thing to take away is that your private medical practice needs quality marketing. And that marketing can significantly boost your chances of success and help you attract and retain more patients. The healthcare industry is always changing, so it’s essential to stay on top of marketing to ensure your private practice stays relevant and competitive.


 Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

4 Ways to Improve Medical Back Office Operations

The back office is the beating heart of any healthcare organization. It’s responsible for everything from administrative tasks to financial management, ensuring that the facility runs smoothly and efficiently. Yet, despite its crucial function, the back office can often feel overlooked, underutilized, or improperly managed. This blog post will discuss four effective ways to improve medical back office operations and help your healthcare facility to operate more smoothly.

 

Standardize Procedures

One of the most important steps in improving back office operations is standardizing procedures. Each staff member should understand their role and follow established guidelines for managing patient paperwork, billing, and more. Establishing clear procedures and protocols can create consistency in your workflow, which leads to improved accuracy and efficiency. This also ensures a standard of care that all patients can expect when visiting your facility. Creating a standard operating procedure manual can help you ensure everyone follows the same procedures, so start by outlining steps for common tasks, including scheduling appointments, patient check-ins, and processing claims.

 

Automate Processes

Automation is the key to increasing efficiency in the back office. Manual data entry can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Automation of tasks and processes where possible, such as scheduling appointments and processing insurance claims, can free up valuable time for employees to devote to other necessary tasks. Additionally, adopting a patient management system that incorporates automation can increase accuracy and productivity—automating billing and sending reminders to patients for example can result in fewer missed appointments and improved collections.

 

Integrate Technology

One of the most effective ways to improve back-office efficiency is to integrate technology into your workflow. Software solutions such as medical billing software, EHR software (such as drchrono, or Cerner) can simplify administrative tasks, while automated patient management systems or electronic payments systems can streamline financial management. The healthcare industry now offers web-based systems such as MyMedLeads, which not only has a suite of patient acquisition tools, but also serves as a communication platform for doctors and patients.

 

Back Office Healthcare Operations Software

The right software solutions can dramatically improve back-office operations. Rather than relying on manual processes that are prone to errors, healthcare facilities should consider implementing back office healthcare operations software. Medical billing software, for example, can help you manage financial information and payments more efficiently, resulting in fewer delays and higher collections. Medical practice management software can streamline scheduling and reduce wait times for patients. In addition to these software solutions there are modern back office healthcare platforms that provide various components (like billing, claims processing, and documentation) within the same platform, unifying workflows to increase efficiency and reduce error rates.

 

Implementing standardized procedures, automation, as well as technology and software solutions can all aid in boosting the efficiency and productivity of your back office operations. Healthcare facilities that successfully implement these methods will have a streamlined workflow, improved accuracy and precision, and be able to provide better quality care to patients. With the right tools and mindset, medical facilities can achieve a high level of operational success and improve their medical outcomes.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

The Future of Healthcare: Why Nurse Practitioners are Poised to Play a Major Role

Healthcare in the United States has been in a rough spot for— well…quite some time. Covid certainly didn’t invent the struggles of Western healthcare but it did intensify them. Hospitals all across the country are suffering from dangerous personnel shortages that have made it challenging to deliver even basic levels of care to certain communities.

It’s a bad situation. But while the number of nurses shrinks, nurse practitioners have been growing enormously in prominence.

In this article, we talk about what nurse practitioners do, and how they are poised to shape the future of healthcare.

Nurse Practitioners Declutter the Healthcare System

One of the healthcare system’s greatest problems in the United States—

That’s a long list, friend.

Fair enough, one of the many problems is that hospitals have more patients than they do people who are qualified to see them. Nurse practitioners can help to relieve some of that burden by providing much of the same care that doctors have traditionally offered.

There are limitations to the extent that this is allowable. Many of these regulations are regional. For example, some states require nurse practitioners to get a doctor to sign off on all of their determinations, which can nullify the time-saving benefits.

However, in states with more permissive laws, this can be an enormous boon. Keep in mind that it takes a lot less time for someone to become a nurse practitioner than it does for someone to become an MD. This means that it is much easier for hospitals to staff up on nurse practitioners.

NPs can work on a wide range of different floors, from neonatal to maternal, allowing hospitals to declutter, and patients to get better quicker care. Fewer patient bottlenecks is better for everyone.

NPs in Private Practice

One of the big appeals of becoming a nurse practitioner is that it can allow you to effectively open up your own practice. Like so many things concerning the life of an NP, this will depend on where you live. However, in many states, nurse practitioners can make diagnoses and prescribe medication just like a general practitioner.

Sometimes, an NP’s ability to do this will be contingent on how long they have been practicing. Other times, it’s simply a matter of getting licensed and setting up a practice.

This is great for patients because it gives them more opportunities to receive care. Many people, particularly those living in areas with limited access to healthcare professionals, are finding that they have to wait more than a year to get a wellness visit.

This is a frustrating, sometimes even dangerous dynamic that more nurse practitioners could help solve.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner in the hopes of setting up your own practice, do some research about your local laws before you get too far in the process.

It is a Good Option for Burnt-out Nurses

You can’t seem to turn on the news without hearing more about the ongoing healthcare crisis that is taking place in the United States. Since Covid-19 hit it seems that hospitals everywhere have been dangerously understaffed.

This was brought to renewed attention a few months ago when a nurse working in Washington made national headlines for dialing 911 after her hospital reached a breaking point and had too few employees to treat their current patient load.

While that episode was dramatic, it was far from unique. Hospitals everywhere have been overwhelmed by the recent nursing shortage. While it is tempting to lay this crisis at Covid’s feet, the truth is that it has been a long time coming.

For years, experts have been warning about this. The problem? Many people have been leaving nursing, and not enough are coming up to replace them.

The culprit is burnout. Nursing is hard, so people look for different jobs. The healthcare industry, and all the people that it serves suffer as a result.

To become a nurse practitioner is to pivot into a similar, but perhaps more comfortable gig. NPs make more money, work friendlier hours, and get to work with patients on an entirely different scale.

In an industry that is in desperate need of personnel retention, more NPs would be an enormous boon with truly transformative potential.

Where are We At Now?

It sounds like more nurse practitioners would be a great thing for this country. And that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t really matter if we don’t have them, does it? Where are we at now?

That’s a good question. While it wouldn’t be right to say that the United States healthcare system’s need for nurse practitioners is being met, it is fair to say that the profession’s growth rate is in promising shape.

Between 2012-2022 the number of nurse practitioners nationwide grew by a whopping 30%—more than three times the national average for professional growth.

That’s an impressive figure by any metric, and all the more notable when compared to the numbers for regular nurses. RNs are expected to grow by only 6% in the next ten years.

It’s hard to contextualize exactly what this means for the American healthcare system. On the one hand, more nurse practitioners are great. This is definitely a “the more the merrier,” type of situation.

That said, we do still need bedside nurses, and that job market is still in questionable condition. It seems that no matter what happens, the US healthcare system will look different ten years from now than it does today.

A healthy stock of nurse practitioners won’t be able to solve all of our problems, but they certainly will help the transition into a brighter future.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Tackling Bias in Healthcare: Strategies for Promoting Equity and Inclusion

The world has made great strides socially, economically, technologically and in many other fields during the last century. One of those fields that has seen astounding growth through ingenuity, creativity, and in effectiveness is the modern healthcare system.

Heart transplants are now a household idea; cancer survival rates are much higher. These many advances contribute to an increase in average lifespans in the U.S. which, in 1900 was only 47 years old, and in 2019 was 79 years of age. Clearly the healthcare systems and technologies available today are tending to a variety of procedures and techniques that help to make the lives of millions of people per year much better.

Sadly, despite those advances, there are still challenges to healthcare. One problem is a rising awareness in scholarly research that has uncovered an uncomfortable fact: implicit bias.

What is Implicit Bias

Implicit bias refers to an attitude and personality expression of stereotypes that affect one’s understanding, decision, and actions in an unconscious manner. Such biases, whether favorable or unfavorable, are present and active often without voluntary awareness or control. These unconscious biases (also known as hidden biases or implicit biases), demonstrate that a lot of social behavior is controlled by the conditioned stereotypes that people operate out of automatically.

While the root of this unconscious bias is proposed to have been a product of evolutionary biology— as a means of promoting survival by quickly determining and sorting persons into various categories based on social and other characteristics— humankind has not lost these traits. The ability of human beings to do this is helpful in many instances, but as is being uncovered through such studies, can have an ugly side. These implicit biases, which give order to our lives by enabling us to put people into categories for cooperation or protection, are also the foundations of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.

Once learned, such prejudices and stereotypes are strong and very often resistant to change even in the face of evidence that exposes its reality.  A collective study done by researchers at Harvard University, University of Virginia, and the University of Washington called the Implicit Association Test  (IAT) gathered more than 4.5 million tests and their results from 1998 until 2006.

The quick summary of their findings was that a) implicit bias is a pervasive societal element, b) people are often unaware of these implicit biases, c) implicit biases are predictors of behavior, and d) people will differ in the strengths and expressions of those biases.

The results of these unconscious biases are multitudinous, and while no aspect of our lives is free from these judgements, for the purposes of this discussion, we are only focusing on how these affect the healthcare system. Here are some researched findings about how implicit bias demonstrates itself in the healthcare system.

Examples of Implicit Bias in Healthcare

As healthcare systems began to administer these IAT tests there were a variety of effects which were uncovered.

  • Non-white patients are less likely to receive certain interventions for cardiovascular problems.
  • Patients of color are likely to be personally blamed for their poor health as a result of their own irresponsibility or passivity.
  • Ethnic minorities, people with lower levels of education, and those who are unemployed, spend longer time waiting for care— black and Latino populations 19-25 minutes more on average.
  • Physician held false beliefs about patients due to skin color.

Regardless of the variety of consequential outcomes, the main point is that differences in treatment rendered based upon decisions unconsciously informed by implicit biases leads to failures in patient-centered care, levels of interpersonal communication, trust, and diagnoses.

The research supports the idea that a relationship between medical professional biases and patient care can contribute to disparities in how healthcare is administered. These cognitive biases when interacting with race, gender, age etc., affect clinician behavior, decisions.

Thus, things like patients’ avoidance of healthcare systems, lower participation in screenings, delays to care, and overall lower reviews of health care professionals arise. So, the question becomes, what can be done? The following are some strategies for promoting equity and inclusion in healthcare despite cognitive biases.

Strategies for Promoting Equity and Inclusion in Healthcare

Implicit bias, as has been shown, is a present force in our society today not just in a broad sense, but in specific demonstrations such as in the medical field. With this comes the necessity for solutions which will help to reduce this. Here are some strategies for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare:

  • Education: informing medical professionals of the reality and possibility of unconscious biases which might include
    • Stereotype replacement— helping others to recognize unconscious responses based upon the various major demographic markers of age, race, sex, religion, etc.
    • Renewed language— language, which is tethered to stereotypes, limits the ability for understanding, thereby encouraging thought behavior toward various demographics. Providing new, specific words and phrases as alternatives to stereotypical slang helps to promote a shift in mindset.
    • Perspective— providing cultural context, even generally, can help to create understanding for the variety of struggles which are common to certain people groups. This understanding breeds compassion and patience which translates to patient care.
  • Offering opportunities for cross cultural engagement interdepartmentally would encourage more empathy for various people groups.
  • Staffing departments for greater diversification encourages everyday observation promoting greater cultural sensitivity.

Any practice of such strategies will begin to gradually diminish the presence of bias in healthcare, and as such should be thoughtfully implemented in healthcare offices.


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.