4 Reasons Gig Platforms Can’t Solve the Nursing Shortage 

Nowadays, people can leverage the gig economy to hire just about any type of worker or service, whether it’s a ride to the airport or an expert electrician. Even nurses can be hired via gig platforms which connect healthcare workers with facilities and organizations that need caregivers. The idea is that the facilities have the help they need while paying nurses immediately for working when and where they want to.  

Thanks to the rise in gig nursing, long term care facilities have been able to fill shifts with workers who actually want to be there. The nursing shortage has caused many facilities to resort to forcing staff to pick up extra shifts or work longer hours to give patient care. 

Nurses are in short supply and it’s been heavily impacting the bottom lines of facilities across the country. It seems like the logical choice to source talent outside of your local community, especially if you’re in a rural location. 

As the proposed staffing mandate looms in legislation, gig nursing platforms are likely to grow in popularity if it’s cheaper to hire a contracted worker for a shift than pay a large fine. 

With these on-demand nurses, however, comes a hefty price for their convenience that is often overlooked in order to meet momentary needs. This is a disservice to your patients, your staff, and your budget.

Continue reading to discover four reasons why using gig platforms as a long-term solution to the nursing crisis is actually to your detriment.

Why gig nursing platforms aren’t a long-term solution for LTC facilities

Everyone needs help now and then, but when long term care facilities regularly rely on a gig nursing platform to staff every shift, there are several repercussions that may occur. Below, we dig into four concerning results that accompany relying on this staffing method. 

Financially draining compared to regular payroll

As with most aspects in life, when you need a commodity fast you’re going to pay a premium for convenience. And, just like ordering food delivery for every meal, this practice isn’t sustainable. 

While gig nursing platforms might seem like an amenable solution in a pinch, relying too heavily on these candidate sources can stress already depleted budgets. It is more expensive in the long run to hire temporary employees and pay headhunting fees plus the worker’s wage than it would be to reinvest in your facility with an applicant tracking system that empowers you to make smarter hiring decisions. Plus, every time you bring a new employee that’s just going to leave in a few weeks you’re throwing money away on the time (and money) wasted acclimating them to your facility’s operating procedures.

Interrupted quality of patient care

You can assume with some degree of certainty that the healthcare talent you contract from gig nursing platforms will meet your minimum requirements. While the technical aspects of the job are covered, your facility will be lacking in consistency of care.

When you don’t have a consistent team, your patients experience an interrupted quality of care. The lack of familiarity that the new nursing staff will have with your facility and patients — and no chance to really get acclimated — creates the opportunity for less than ideal patient care. You won’t have the time to adequately train your contracted healthcare workers on your facility’s core values and expectations or to inspect if they provide a high quality of care. You don’t have time to onboard them if you want them to effectively complete their duties.

Technological disparities

Healthcare workers you contract through gig platforms may have the technical nursing skills you need to keep your bed count up, but they might not have the experience with the technology you use at your facility. From simple user error to complex computer problems, there are a variety of ways that unfamiliarity with healthcare technology can lead to worsening patient outcomes. 

Beyond these innocuous errors, when you constantly have to create new identities for temporary employees and introduce them to your databases, you drastically increase opportunities for your security to be compromised. Considering how stringent HIPAA laws and regulations are, the personal information of your patients must remain confidential — and so should that of your employees. 

Division of staff

A phenomenon that occurs across all industries that occurs when businesses resort to outsourcing help. A fracturing happens amongst the staff and suddenly employers have to deal with two camps: employees and “others.” These “others” are often paid more, but are inexperienced with your particular patients. These temporary employees are just as qualified as the nurses you have on staff, but they often receive better wages than full-time employees. 

Your regular employees are overworked, exhausted, and passionate about the patients they care for — but it can feel bad on their end knowing that you are willing to pay more to someone to perform the same duties they do. This division creates a work environment that, while not hostile, is not conducive to the best outcomes for your patients.

Takeaways

Let’s keep the convenience to food delivery and household needs — not hiring nurses. Relying too heavily on gig platforms to meet your need for nurses is not a sustainable solution to the ongoing nursing shortage.

But Hireology can help! Our intuitive platform makes hiring better talent faster than before. Schedule a demo to see how!

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