Three successful employee retention strategies in the revenue cycle

Employee turnover is high in the healthcare arena, and according to one site hosted by FOND, a company that hosts a global employee rewards and recognition SaaS platform, turnover in healthcare is second only to the hospitality industry. It’s a challenge for healthcare organizations to find new employees and retain them for long.

nThrive Education recommends a career path program for colleagues and a grow-your-own-workforce program for workers in the community. This approach will ultimately provide valuable development opportunities for staff while improving the health of your organization’s revenue cycle.

The path ahead – role enhancement and cross-training

A successful employee education program offers two options – first, a path to help colleagues enhance their current roles, and secondly, a cross-training program that offers colleagues the opportunity to learn other jobs in the revenue cycle.

Role enhancement training provides an ongoing path for skill enhancement and commitment to colleague growth that fosters increased quality of patient care and patient satisfaction at your medical organization. It offers the revenue cycle colleague a path to pursue additional training and skills in their current role. Many healthcare systems establish job levels, such as entry level, mid-range and senior – for colleagues to train for and achieve – with excellent results. Offering a career ladder that includes compensation for each newly attained skill level provides an incentive to the colleague and benefits the healthcare organization, too.

Cross-training programs offer colleagues the opportunity to expand their skill sets by way of training for a different role within the revenue cycle. For example, an outpatient medical coder cross-trains to become an inpatient medical coder or an E & M coder. Or a patient access specialist cross-trains to work in the medical billing and collections area. Cross-training pays off when there’s a resource shortage in one area and an overabundance of resources in another area. It fills gaps in revenue cycle jobs during business disruptions, such as COVID-19. Cross-trained colleagues can be moved quickly to other areas of the revenue cycle to maintain productivity, as well as expand the colleague’s work experience.

Both role enhancement and cross-training have proven beneficial to healthcare organizations’ turnover rates. One organization reported that within 12 months of implementing these programs, turnover rates dropped and satisfaction survey results improved.

Build your own workforce

If your healthcare organization is struggling to fill positions, consider building a workforce from non-traditional sources. For example, we partner with healthcare organizations to provide education and training to unemployed and underemployed workers, many of whom have had no previous healthcare experience. These workers are filling roles, such as medical coders, medical billers, patient access representatives, clinical documentation improvement specialists and patient financial representatives. Besides addressing labor shortages, a grow your own workforce approach builds and sustains community relations and accelerates on-the-job start dates – some of the training can be completed in as little as 10 weeks. The program fosters work force loyalty. One healthcare organization initiated a project to build its own medical coder workforce from a local population of military veterans. Still, others have become Certified Tumor Registrars.

At nThrive Education,* we have the health information technology and revenue cycle management expertise to help your hospital or medical organization implement impactful education programs for colleagues across the revenue cycle. Ready to learn more? Contact nThrive

*nThrive Education partners with HealthStream to provide unlimited access to revenue cycle education.

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