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Analyzing Healthcare Staffing Challenges and How to Fix Them

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The healthcare industry is rapidly changing, and healthcare systems need innovative solutions to meet increasing demands. With the uncertainty of the pandemic and the various staffing challenges that have arisen, it has become increasingly important to partner with a healthcare staffing firm. Your patients need your undivided attention, which can be challenging to do when you’re continually looking for top clinicians.

Under normal circumstances, it can be challenging to fulfill niche positions. Now research published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports there will be a shortage of physicians and nurses in the U.S. in various specialties.

When you partner with VISTA to find the solution to your contingent staffing challenges, we take care of your hiring needs so you can get back to what matters most – your patients. Here are some common healthcare staffing challenges and how we can help you overcome them and improve workforce optimization.

Healthcare Staffing Challenges

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the significance of the healthcare industry and workforce optimization. Internal and external challenges, finding candidates with the right professional skills, and pinpointing significant red flags before hiring continue to be substantial pain points for healthcare organizations.

Telehealth, holistic health, community health, and streamlining the patient experience

The pandemic sparked a rapid increase in the number of telehealth visits by 50% in an industry that was already gaining traction. This makes it critical for practices to retain a competent staff that is comfortable using communication platforms with the same efficiency and compassion as in-person consults.

Holistic health is another factor to consider when hiring today, as more expert physicians discover the value in examining mental and emotional components of a patient’s overall health, in addition to their physical wellbeing.

Community health should be a core focus of your staff, with particular attention to individual patient care, and your healthcare system will benefit from providers that have superior communication and interpersonal skills.

Skills the ideal physician candidate should have

Healthcare is not an area of staffing where “settling” for a candidate is optional. Highly cultivated skill sets are a must, and special skills are an added benefit to your organization. Consider these special skills when determining the right candidate:

  • Certifications – Board certifications are a great indication of competency, especially since the American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes them.
  • Education – Education is subjective to the position you wish to fill and is a baseline requirement for every candidate.
  • CV – Here, you will consider experience, awards, leadership, and soft skills like communication and critical thinking.
  • Geographic influences – Where a candidate has worked previously can be a good indicator in measuring how well they work when under pressure.
  • Professional influences – Assessing where they’ve worked, experience with academic research and published works can give you a more comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s skill set.
Red flags to look out for when hiring physicians

It is vital to take on the extra responsibility of vetting candidates for red flags in your healthcare system. Here are some significant red flags to look out for when considering your options.

Length of job

Red flags in this area can include not holding a job longer than six months, frequent job changes in different areas, work history with employment gaps that don’t make sense, and resignation or termination.

Schooling and Training gaps

Ask candidates about education that doesn’t match work history, a gap in residency, and a change in residency programs or specialties. These can be key indicators of problems with authority, poor performance, or indecisiveness. On the other hand, it could indicate the discovery of a genuine passion for a new specialty.


Look out for licensing board issues and late (or no) board certification, as they can be an indication of late graduation from a training program or failure to pass the exam the first time around. These candidates could lack the professional skills you require for the position.

VISTA Solutions

With VISTA, your organization can spend more time focusing on continuity of care and less time searching for top talent that meets specific, niche requirements. We are the fourth-largest supplier of locum tenens in the U.S. and have helped staff hospitals with physicians from all specialties in areas hard-hit by the pandemic.

The VISTA Select solution

VISTA Select is the solution to contingent staffing with a people-first approach built on the Trust, Transparency, and Accountability model at the core of every service. Our staff has more than 30 years of experience finding solutions to healthcare system staffing concerns. Benefits include:

  • Reduced dependency on contingent labor and development of transparent staffing strategies.
  • Customizable workflows and solutions allow your organization to optimize staffing levels.
  • Special attention to reducing work costs while providing workforce management that improves quality care.
  • A comprehensive – and complimentary – Workforce Optimization Review.

VISTA can provide staffing for commercial healthcare businesses, including nursing, allied, pharmacy, IT, and security staff.

Other VISTA services:

  • Government services — Benefit from a dedicated team of people aligned with government opportunities, including VA and U.S. government contracts.
  • Search — Find permanent placement for qualified physicians.
  • Telehealth — VISTA can also facilitate staffing for telehealth opportunities.

VISTA’s Core Values of Trust, Transparency, and Accountability

Through our Trust, Transparency, and Accountability model, VISTA’s experienced and qualified teams can deliver cost savings and a consistently great experience for clients. When you work with VISTA, you can trust that your money will be properly invested and well-managed, saving the bottom line. VISTA is not in it for short-term revenue; we’re investing in your future. Contact us today for more insight on how our staffing solutions can benefit your healthcare organization.

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