Resource management is known as one of the most critical and complex aspects of project management for any organization across industries. 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, and the resources are fairly limited, resource allocation becomes even more challenging.
While 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-
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 is 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.
Resource Usage is Not Optimal
Even 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 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.
Still, if the resources are efficiently handled after considering red flags and unexpected emergencies, their usage can be optimized. A resource scheduling tool like eResource Scheduler can help make the allocation process more transparent and efficient.
Lack of Focus on Upgradation
The 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 upgradations.
Also, some facilities do not sponsor such upgradations 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.
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 still rely on traditional manual systems where records are updated with the help of lengthy spreadsheets which are highly prone to errors.
Poor documentation can not just impact the effectiveness of 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 any proper planning or documentation.
This again brings us back to the importance of using a reliable resource allocation software. Such solutions can add more transparency to healthcare resource allocation while also maintaining detailed and accurate documentation.
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. While this cannot be wholly eliminated, do your best in keeping it to a minimum. Burnouts not only affects the work quality of the employees but also makes them unhappy with the job.
So, make adjustments to the workload when you see someone from your team is overworked while others do not have a lot of tasks at hand. Resource levelling, a popular resource allocation technique where activities are merged or divided as per availability of resources, can be used for splitting the work.
While healthcare is a field where everything should be double-checked for improved safety of the patients, the employees don’t like to be micro-managed. No one would appreciate a staffing or project manager who wants to manage every small aspect of their job and continuously wants updates on the progress.
Delegate tasks and allow medical professionals to handle things on their own. This way, the staff will not only feel more responsible for their jobs, but it can also help in improving their confidence. If a particular employee does not seem fit for a specific task, allow him/her to take additional courses or training workshops.
Resource Allocation in the 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 the help of 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. Some of the solutions also generate utilization reports to help you make sure that all the resources are being used effectively without being overused or overburdened.
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