It’s no secret that the turnover rate in healthcare facilities has led to a massive increase in hiring. A 2022 survey from Aon of over 1,200 U.S. hospitals showed that 83% have recently accelerated clinical hiring.1 Other hospitals have increasingly looked to contract workers for relief.2
For Employee Health (EH) departments, onboarding tasks have increased exponentially as new and temporary employees submit vaccination information, get pre-employment drug and health tests, schedule respirator fit tests, and learn about compliance tasks.
Below, we’ll look at ways for EH departments to cope with the workload involved in collecting employee information and scheduling tests and vaccine appointments during this trying time.
1. Create Onboarding Checklists
An onboarding checklist can keep things running smoothly as new healthcare workers go through the onboarding process throughout the facility.3 It also helps EH nurses create a standardized workflow so that all employees receive the same information and no compliance tasks are neglected, even when there’s high turnover in the Employee Health department itself.
A checklist may contain all the onboarding “paperwork” necessary to register the employee fully, a list of testing and vaccine requirements, reminders to check drug and health screenings, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs.
2. Go Digital to Make Document Storage and Access Simple
Even in small clinics, we’re long beyond the days when post-its and spreadsheets could hold and track all of the information necessary for EH departments to help onboard new healthcare workers.
With the help of Employee Health software, EH nurses can track and monitor vaccinations. This is particularly helpful at mobile clinics set up for high-volume vaccination events (like annual flu shots or seasonal orientations), where EH employees can track patient consent forms and Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) and update employee records in real-time.
3. Automate Common Onboarding Tasks
Sending welcome emails, distributing information on onboarding requirements, and alerting new employees of their ability to schedule vaccine, drug testing, or fit testing can all be automated with EH software.
Automation has become necessary since manually trying to fulfill onboarding for all new employees leaves too much room for errors and inefficiencies.4 Because these gaps can lead to compliance issues, there’s a lot at stake for EH nurses responsible for prepping employees in healthcare. However, automating workflows typically requires consistent expertise in the office. If the turnover rate in EH departments is also high, it’s necessary to standardize and spell out tasks and use a software suite that is intuitive to cut down on the need for specialized training.
4. Run Regular Compliance Reports to Spot Problems
Even EH departments with the best resources don’t have time to review new employee files daily to ensure they’re complete. And some employees will likely need to be reminded to complete their compliance tasks.
Finding software that will allow EH employees to easily run frequent compliance reports to spot gaps is crucial. It means no more sifting through records based on an individual basis to ensure it’s complete.
Employee Health Software for Efficient Onboarding
Investing in Employee Health software is vital to staying on top of compliance tasks during this period of flux. The best tools not only allow for the standardization and digitization of these tasks but also track other aspects of employee health, such as worker’s compensation claims and OSHA reporting.
By making these aspects of the job more straightforward, software allows EH employees to focus on more personalized tasks or more extensive projects related to employee health and wellness.
3 Best Practices for Employee Health Nurses
2 Fierce Healthcare, “Hospitals Ramping Up Recruiting, Employee Benefit Offerings Amid Labor Shortage Fears, Survey Finds,” September 28, 2022.
3 U.S. Public Health Service, “Healthcare Facility Onboarding Checklist,” 2022.
4 Venture Beat, “Why Inadequate Automation of Onboarding and Offboarding Results in Security Risks and Data Loss,” November 16, 2022.