How ASCs are recruiting, retaining staff amid labor shortage

ASCs, like all healthcare providers, are having to get creative to recruit staff and compete with the high salaries of hospitals. 

Here are four strategies ASCs are using to recruit and retain staff:

1. Cultivating a caring work environment

Alan Rimbo, administrator of Lawrence (Kan.) Plastic Surgery, is focusing on a "communication-centric, team-oriented, positive, upbeat environment," which includes making staff feel like they are a part of the growth strategy, he told Becker's

"Our goal is to demonstrate a team-friendly and caring environment," he said. "Leaders often find themselves with blinders on and get focused on what’s in front of them, while losing sight of what’s on either side. We are making an effort to see what’s on our periphery."

2. Offering flexible hours

By working with surgeons to manage block times and opening weekend block times when possible, Catherine Llavanes, CEO of  Los Angeles-based Sante Health Partners, has been able to offer flexible hours to staff. 

"We offer flexible time for those workers who are able to cover shifts during flex time, convert part-time and per diem employees to full-time and negotiate longer shifts for the able and available staff, which has allowed us to schedule block times according to our staffing availability," she told Becker's

The group is also constantly onboarding per-diem staff to help with last-minute sick calls and vacation coverage. 

3. Improving wages and benefits 

Andrew Wade, CEO of OrthoSC in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has opted for raising wages and improving benefits to recruit staff. 

Many ASCs and practices are seeing success in the investment. Shreveport, La.-based physician-owned GI clinic GastroIntestinal Specialists, for example, is investing almost $1.5 million for employee salary raises. 

Benita Tapia, RN, administrator of 90210 Surgery Medical Center in Beverly Hills, Calif., told Becker's her team is offering quarterly bonus pay to entice nurses. 

4. Emphasizing non-monetary benefits

Although ASCs can't always compete monetarily, "employees fall in love with the work/life balance ASCs can provide," Ann Cook, RN, director of nursing at Best Surgery and Therapies in Cincinnati told Becker's

Her center, for example, offers no call, no weekends and no holidays to work.

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