Provider retention is always top of mind for healthcare organizations – especially during a provider shortage. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to set your organization up for success and retain the incredible providers that join your team. In this blog, we’ll review best practices, tips, and strategies you can implement to help improve employee retention in healthcare.
Challenges organizations face with provider retention
According to data from the Health Resources & Services Administration, 164 million people live in a mental health professional shortage area, and more than 8,000 mental health professionals are needed to meet the demand for care.
Mental health professionals have more flexibility to change jobs because the need for their services is so high. In fact, a new report from Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS) surveyed 426 behavioral health facilities and found an average 27% turnover rate across all positions, with a vacancy rate of 14%.
So, what can healthcare organizations do to find providers? And, once they’ve found the right provider, how can they make sure they’re happy long-term? Let’s take a look at a few best practices they can implement at their organization.
Strategies to retain mental health professionals
Helping ensure providers are supported is one of the keys to recruitment and retention in healthcare. This supportive approach can start from the very beginning. For example, it’s essential to provide benefits and compensation aligned with the demands of the community where they live and the cost of living.
Additionally, one of the most significant contributors to attrition in the mental health space is compassion fatigue and burnout. As behavioral health clinicians regularly hear stories of trauma, which can cause secondary trauma for them. So, ensuring your providers are supported and have someone they can talk to can be very beneficial. If your provider is in a virtual environment, helping them connect with onsite or other virtual colleagues is especially helpful.
For instance, leveraging an internal messaging platform, along with regularly scheduled meetings can help support your clinicians and keep them engaged. It’s crucial that clinicians feel included in the day-to-day and that they have a connection to one another.
In addition to these strategies, there are a few tried and true best practices you can implement to help create a positive experience for your providers.
Best practices to improve provider retention
At Iris Telehealth, we’ve found that creating a supportive environment for providers has been key to provider retention.
Here are a few of the best practices we’ve put in place to help secure long-term matches:
- Thorough clinical recruitment process: From the beginning, our clinical hiring team gets to know our clinicians – their preferences, values, and needs. That way, we can help ensure they find an organization that’s the best fit for them. That also means we get to know our partner organizations very well. Through our clinical recruitment process, called The Iris Match, we work to make the best matches possible, so the provider and the organization they work for are set-up for long-term success.
- Effective communication: Our clinical operations managers (COMs) at Iris help ensure our providers always have someone to call and know how important they are. This team serves as their advocates, addressing any and all needs a provider may have. At the same time, COMs help our partners ensure their long-term relationship with the provider is successful by helping facilitate effective collaboration and communication.
- Licensing and credentialing: Another impactful best practice we implement is help with licensing and credentialing. Our medical staff services (MSS) team effectively licenses and credentials all Iris providers and gives providers and partners the most efficient, proactive, and trouble-free experience during onboarding and throughout the relationship. By taking care of this part of the puzzle, providers can focus on doing what they do best – providing quality patient care.
- Quality benefits: Ensuring our providers have what they need in terms of compensation and benefits is crucial. That’s why we offer our providers the option of a W2 or 1099, whatever fits their lifestyle. We also offer continuing education funds, an office expense account, and a good health insurance plan.
Leveraging these multiple layers of support helps increase provider satisfaction, and ultimately helps increase retention as well. Let’s dive a little deeper into the importance of matching the right clinician with the right healthcare organization.
Finding the right provider match and securing long-term care
Quality matches ensure a long-term fit. That’s why we take making quality matches seriously. Here are a few insights we have implemented into The Iris Match.
- In every scoping call with an organization, we review technical questions like appointment times, population seen, and diagnoses.
- We ask what’s unique about your population or what would be essential to know.
- We ask about desired soft skills, personality, or what the organizations have liked about some of their long-term providers so we can identify similar qualities.
At Iris, we’ve found that it’s not just a matter of a skill fit as much as it’s a will fit. We’re proud to match providers with organizations where they feel aligned and supported.
Where Iris fits in
At Iris, we take retention seriously – from the first interview all the way through the interview. We highly value creating amazing experiences for providers and organizations.
If you’d like to learn more about The Iris Match, or learn if we can help you find a clinician who your patients and providers will love, contact us today.