How 4 administrators are mitigating staff shortages

Staff shortages, exacerbated by COVID-19 infections and mandates, are hurting ASCs nationwide. Four ASC administrators discussed their strategies to mitigate these shortages with Becker's

1. Cross-training

Phillips Kirk Labor, MD, the president and owner of LoneStar Ambulatory Surgery Center in Grapevine, Texas, told Becker's his center is planning ahead by cross-training employees in the event an employee is absent or leaves their position. 

"Our top priority is to retain the staff we currently have by demonstrating our appreciation for our employees and by continuing to foster a positive work environment," he added.

2. Harnessing partnerships

Other ASCs are relying on partnerships with hospitals and management companies to help fill staffing gaps. 

"Our hospital partner is helping by shifting specialties and cases that they are unable to accommodate due to their full capacity during the pandemic and the service lines that are not being delivered with high efficiencies," Raghu Reddy, chief administrative officer of SurgCenter of Western Maryland in Cumberland, told Becker's

3. "Aggressive" recruitment

Helen Lowenwirth, administrator of East Side Endoscopy in New York City, told Becker's she is focusing on aggressive recruitment that eyes cross training across departments, as well as using per diem staff to supplement and relieve the stress on full-time employees.

"Our commitment to quality care begins with providing staff an environment where they are safe, valued and appreciated," she said.  

4. Promoting lifestyle benefits

Leveraging the lifestyle benefits of working at ASCs, including flexible scheduling and existing employee relations, is another recruitment strategy. 

Crystal Aigner, BSN, RN, administrator of Surgical Suites of Coastal Virginia in Williamsburg, told Becker's that her management board engagement is critical in reviewing benefits packages and offerings.

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