Resource Allocation in Healthcare - Challenges & Recommendations

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Resource allocation in healthcare is the most critical and complex aspect of resource management for any healthcare center. The dynamics of resource management in healthcare are, however, unique.

Healthcare is a limited resource, and its demand is extensive as everyone needs it. When demand exceeds supply, the resources are fairly limited and resource allocation in healthcare becomes even more challenging.

Governments across the world are now focusing on public health and taking measures for improving it. The healthcare industry continues to be engulfed by some serious challenges. Some of the biggest of them are as follows-

  1. Lack of Skilled Human Resources

    Be it the USA, UK, Australia, or India; there is an alarming shortage of skilled medical professionals. High turnover, inequitable workforce distribution, and lack of quality education providers are some of the most prominent reasons for this shortage. Even the high fees for medical courses are a significant roadblock for several individuals wanting to build a medical career.

    Lack of medical staff also means that there are a limited number of professionals to manage the healthcare needs of patients. Overtime and burnouts are very common in the medical industry, and this significantly impacts the quality of healthcare received by the patients.

  2. Resource Usage is Not Optimal

    When the resources are available and allocated, the allocation is often not optimized. Medical professionals with higher skill sets are usually required to work on low-priority cases, and ones with lower skills and experience are made to work on more critical projects.

    As long as the hiring and allocations meet the minimum requirements of a healthcare facility, this non-optimal resource allocation of healthcare resources is very common. An important reason for this problem is the unsteady nature of the healthcare industry. Unlike other industries, you cannot estimate resource allocation in a medical facility.

    If the resources are efficiently handled after considering red flags and unexpected emergencies, their usage can be optimized. A healthcare resources management tool like eResource Scheduler can help make the resource allocation process more transparent and efficient.

  3. Lack of Focus on Upgradation

    Medical technologies are advancing rapidly. As a result, medical professionals are regularly required to upgrade themselves with newer skills through short courses and workshops. However, many healthcare facilities do not encourage their medical staff enough for such upgrades.

    Also, some facilities do not sponsor such upgrades due to which the medical professionals are required to manage the entire expenses themselves. This apathetic attitude discourages them and impacts the overall growth of the healthcare industry.

  4. Poor Documentation of Resource Allocation

    When allocating healthcare resources or resources in any industry for that matter, it is essential to document the allocation and utilization properly. A large number of medical facilities rely on traditional manual systems where records are updated in lengthy spreadsheets which are highly prone to errors. Poor documentation can not just impact the effectiveness of the resource allocation strategy but also make it very difficult for a facility to respond to an emergency. In case of emergencies, the resources are allocated here and there without proper planning or documentation.

    This again brings us back to the importance of using reliable resource allocation software. Such solutions can add more transparency to healthcare resource allocation in healthcare helps in maintaining detailed and accurate documentation.

  5. Not Reallocating Resources Effectively

    As a staff manager working at a healthcare facility, one of your most important responsibilities is to try and avoid employee burnouts as much as possible. This cannot be eliminated, do your best in keeping it to a minimum. Burnouts not only affect the work quality of the employees but also makes them unhappy with the job.

    So, when you see someone from your team is overworked, make adjustments to manage the workload. Resource leveling is a popular technique of resource allocation in healthcare. In this technique, activities are merged or divided as per the availability of resources for splitting the work.

  6. Micro-Managing Resources

    Healthcare is a field where everything should be double-checked for the safety of the patients. The employees don’t like to be micromanaged. No one would appreciate staffing or a project manager, who wants to manage every small aspect of their job.

    Delegate tasks and allow medical professionals to handle things on their own. This way, the staff will not only feel more responsible, but it can also help in improving their confidence. If a particular employee doesn't seem fit for a specific task, allow him/her to take additional training workshops.

Resource Allocation in Healthcare Industry

There is no denying the fact that there are several significant challenges concerning resource allocation in the healthcare industry. The demand keeps increasing with every passing day while the supply remains inadequate and unsteady. While healthcare resource allocation can never really be perfected, you sure can take several measures to improve their efficiency.

The majority of the biggest healthcare allocation challenges can be handled more effectively with resource scheduling software. It will work as a quick window to your allocations while also enabling you to reallocate the resources as and when required with complete transparency and ease. The solutions generate utilization reports to help you make sure that all the resources are being used effectively without being overused or overburdened.

Also read about how effective Resource Planning in USA’s Leading Healthcare Company

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