Workforce challenges are mounting in today’s healthcare organizations, and the impact can be felt across every clinical and operational role. Yet when it comes to operational margin, there is an undeniable link between a healthy bottom line and the effectiveness of a revenue cycle team.
As the industry continues to reel from unprecedented staffing shortages and burnout, the root cause of lackluster revenue cycle performance is often much more complex than a lack of people. Unfortunately, too many healthcare organizations are caught up in a whirlwind of maintaining staffing levels, and ultimately missing the bigger picture of workforce optimization as they attempt to meet increasingly higher employee expectations.
The good news is there is a better workforce model—one built on a culture of recognition and reward that allows healthcare organizations to motivate existing revenue cycle teams and retain top talent. It all starts with the right foundation of effective intelligence and visibility into each unit of work effort of every team member.
Many provider organizations equate optimal bottom-line performance to having a particular number of staff working on a revenue cycle team. In reality, the problem is more likely a staff effectiveness issue that reflects changing dynamics in the workforce.
For many workers, the concept of work-life balance has moved center stage as a precursor to job satisfaction. Consequently, hybrid and remote work options made possible through virtualization are now key to recruitment and retention.
Gartner recommends that employers take actions that focus on:
In addition to flexibility in work location, a major shift has occurred in recent years related to the psychology behind work. Most people are familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which theorizes that physiological needs and safety are our top priorities. But, when those needs are met, priorities move up the triangle to love and belonging and esteem.
As a result, employees are more apt to seek rewards, recognition and status like they find in various forms of social media and online culture.
Financial leaders should now view the top of Maslow’s hierarchy—self-actualization—as the ultimate objective for employee performance, helping revenue cycle teams go beyond a historic baseline or average by setting goals that push individuals to do better.
By motivating employees to essentially “compete against themselves,” and push the boundaries of their perceived capabilities, they can gain satisfaction from knowing they have performed at their highest capacity and be acknowledged for it.