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The Crucial Role of Contingency Planning in Healthcare


January 25, 2024
The Crucial Role of Contingency Planning in Healthcare Blog Image

As a healthcare organization, it’s crucial that you prepare for and proactively respond to unexpected events or emergencies. Post-pandemic, this should go without saying. Contingency planning in healthcare ensures continuity of care and patient safety, minimizes disruptions to hospital operations, and can help hospitals recover faster when staffing shortages occur.  

Successful contingency planning involves developing actions and strategies to implement during labor negotiations, nursing strikes, or high turnover. Workforce stabilization is possible, so long as you plan! Collaborating with an organization that supplies highly qualified local and PRN talent will help you get there. 

Mitigate Risks to Continuity of Patient Care 

Workforce disruptions happen all the time. They can occur due to something as expected as an exodus of retirees to something as unexpected as a pandemic or natural disaster. All healthcare providers want to avoid threats to patient care and safety.  

What the pandemic taught us is that with staffing shortages can come communication breakdowns—this caused confusion about who should be responsible for making decisions about resource allocation, particularly when those resources were diminished to begin with. 

By anticipating various scenarios, you can develop targeted strategies, such as creating an emergency response plan and communication protocols to minimize risks and protect patients from harm. Matchwell helps hospitals by giving them direct access to high-quality local and per diem clinician candidates. Hospital leaders can take the initiative by ensuring they have access to a candidate pool whenever it’s needed.  

Minimize Operational Disruptions and Control Costs 

It’s vital that you do not underestimate the importance of meticulous resource management. You must maintain adequate personnel, yes, but also sufficient equipment and supplies. An effective contingency plan optimizes resource utilization, identifies vulnerabilities, and helps hospital leaders establish strategies to retain operational continuity during workforce disruption.  

The key to reducing operational disruptions is to leverage cost-effective solutions to recruiting staff without the long-term financial commitments associated with permanent hires.  

Recover from Staffing Shortages Faster 

By taking the initiative to identify potential challenges and developing strategies, hospital leaders can respond quickly to mitigate the impact of staffing shortages on patient care. Contingency planning helps with workforce stabilization, allowing you to cross-train staff and work with temporary and local staffing solutions to get your workforce needs met before a disruption occurs.  

As we mentioned in our previous blog about workforce optimization, local and per diem staff help organizations with cost control by reducing the cost of training and benefits. When you work with Matchwell, you get access to clinicians already familiar with your hospital’s procedures and who receive benefits from their W2 status with their agency—helping you recover from staffing shortages without huge financial implications.  

Matchwell, now part of the Medical Solutions healthcare talent ecosystem, is an agency alternative that matches clinicians with top healthcare facilities looking for local and per diem talent. Start a conversation today!     

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