Tackling Staffing Shortage in Ophthalmology: Strategies and Technological Solutions

Tackling Staffing Shortage in Ophthalmology: Strategies and Technological Solutions

If you are like most ophthalmic practices in the nation, the ongoing support staff shortage is nothing new to you. With unemployment rates at record lows, changing employee expectations, and an aging population, most ophthalmic practices are facing the same dilemma. On one hand, thanks to baby boomers and their aging ophthalmic needs, business is booming! And while there are sufficient ophthalmologists to meet these needs, many of these doctors find they lack the support staff to effectively run their practices. Below, we’ll be looking at some strategies and solutions you can employ to bridge the gap and keep your practice thriving.

Recruitment and Retention Tactics

Today’s workforce has transformed seemingly overnight following the COVID-19 pandemic. In ophthalmology, not only is there a shortage of staff interested in working five days a week for 8 hours on site in an ophthalmology practice in general, but there is actually a shortage of trained technicians and other skilled staff. You can tackle these problems in your practice by better supporting your support staff. This includes providing attractive job packages and advertising incentives that stand out to draw skilled professionals to your office. In addition, you can also provide training, certification, and educational opportunities for your existing staff to develop their skills and improve employee retention.

Collaborative Partnerships and Outsourcing

In a competitive market, this may seem counter-intuitive, but collaborating with other healthcare facilities may actually prove beneficial to your practice. Such a collaboration can allow you to share limited resources better than if you were trying to do it all on your own. Beyond this, it would be a wise idea to outsource as much of your staff’s workload as possible to keep them focused on the tasks only they can fulfill. For example, you can outsource bookkeeping to an accounting agency or admin tasks to a medical staffing agency so that your office staff can better focus on connecting with patients and other in-office work.

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Harnessing Technology for Staffing Solutions

Finally, you can utilize modern technology and even AI in many different ways to alleviate your staffing shortage. There are many advanced practice management systems that can automate many routine tasks such as appointment scheduling, appointment reminders, patient communication, payments, data analysis and more. Even in terms of medical treatment, there are many advanced devices and other technology such as robotic assisted surgery and 3D imaging and printing that can streamline even diagnosis and treatment.