Why the Gig Economy is Right for Healthcare

Jonathan

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Nov 23, 2018
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Pretty interesting article from Huron Consulting Group on why the gig economy is right for healthcare. Here are a few pertinent quotes:

Why the Gig Economy is Right for Healthcare
Healthcare organizations are trying to drive out inefficiencies across their businesses to increase revenue. While improving supply chain processes and reducing denials can yield significant financial improvement, they struggle to put a dent in labor costs, which account for approximately 60 percent of spending. At the same time, there’s an impending healthcare skills gap with an estimated shortage of 20,400 primary care physicians and 200,000 nurses by 2020. Travel and agency nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists, and locum tenens physicians help fill labor gaps at understaffed hospitals, but they come at a significant cost. The gig economy would allow hospitals and healthcare providers to negotiate directly with healthcare professionals, significantly reducing the fees charged by pricey intermediaries.

With a gig model, healthcare organizations would be able to hire a professional for one day, several days or a few months based on their staffing needs. This enables providers to hire fewer full-time staff, which gives them a pool of workers to tap into as needed.

Responding to the Needs of Healthcare Professionals
The gig economy empowers healthcare organizations to meet their staffing needs at a lower cost, but it also meets the needs of healthcare professionals – for both full-time employees and gig workers – in a new way. Those who are employed full-time fulfill their needs of a consistent paycheck, benefits and career advancement. On the other hand, gig workers receive the flexibility and control of their schedule that they desire (which could reduce burnout) or the ability to earn supplemental income. Leaders must understand that the social-emotional needs of gig workers may be different than that of full-time employees and find ways to create purposeful experiences for both parties. In doing so, those caring for patients can align their professional priorities with their personal priorities, which can change significantly throughout their career.