In the fight against COVID-19, people and equipment are the most important weapons. How has coronavirus changed our view of the healthcare sector?
I have tremendous respect for the nursing profession but had been racking my brains over the issues in the healthcare sector from a business-economic point of view for quite a while. The management and optimal use of funds and budgets ...
The coronavirus crisis has really highlighted this problem, in my opinion. The drive with which nurses are doing their work today is incredible. And yet, I’m convinced that, because of coronavirus, they have even more questions whirling around in their heads. We really do have to take notice of their concerns and deal with them in a focused way.
The Clap for Carers at 20:00 and white sheets in windows: does the growing respect have an impact on the healthcare sector’s image?
Sure, you do also hear positive stories. Like the fact that despite coronavirus, more people are signing up to study nursing, for example. Obviously, that’s a good thing, but will these people actually stay in the job in the long term? Nursing really does have to be in your DNA, which is also our starting point here at EGHT CARE.
Besides better pay and benefits, what other motivators are there to ensure working in the healthcare sector works for people?
It may be sacrilege to say this, but I don’t believe in higher wages. In my line of work, I come across many nurses who are looking for recognition and genuine attention. It makes no sense that top nurses are resigning because their supervisors or management won’t listen to their ideas.
I realise that I may be stepping on a few toes here with this view, but I say it with the best of intentions. In my opinion, we hear this too often as the reason cited by nurses for applying to work with us. If you ask me, listening and being allowed to deal with things head-on, that just isn’t happening enough these days.
Nursing is a textbook example of a skills shortage area. So, why do people choose to work in the healthcare sector today?
We see incredible drive and passion in our nurses. Nursing patients back to health or bringing a smile to residents’ faces: as a layperson, you can only imagine the feeling that gives you. Not to mention the enormous gratitude shown by patients and their families!
And then there are the challenges in the healthcare departments, of course.
Absolutely. And I think that there should be a shift in focus in many places. Everyone is talking about resolving nursing shortages, but what about retention? Sure, there are shortages and we can’t ignore them.
But we have to keep the nurses currently in the profession happy instead of focusing blindly on large-scale recruitment. In this respect, EGHT CARE is swimming against the tide: we want to listen to nursing talent and offer them a way to achieve their ambitions. Moving forward together!
Is that your vision for the future of the healthcare sector?
Absolutely. Work pressure is very high these days and nurses are looking after their patients and residents at a frantic pace. Once again, huge respect, but this rush leaves little room to listen to what is on the nurses’ minds. I don’t mean to preach, but one out of two nurses I meet don’t feel heard or feel they are given the brush-off by their supervisors. A missed opportunity, if you ask me.
Valuing and retaining talent is worth more than focusing blindly on recruiting extra nurses. If I had just one euro to invest, I’d do so in team atmosphere and the development of top nursing talent who are going above and beyond the call of duty today.
What do you feel is missing today?
A willingness to take decisive action. A certain determination to address things, especially from a business-economic point of view. Now and then, you need to stop and think, so you can move forward more quickly: in doing so, you help the healthcare sector progress and create the foundation for patient-driven healthcare.
What does that mean to you, patient-driven healthcare?
The patient is the beating heart of the healthcare sector. And that is something that needs to be stressed even more today! How do patients feel when they go home? What do they think of the care they received and the hospital, the experience and the nurses? These are all things that get talked about in families. In that respect, the patient really is an ambassador whose voice needs to be heard in the branding of healthcare departments.
And that doesn’t happen enough today?
Exactly. Healthcare institutions are also businesses that have to grow and evolve. Something that is overlooked too often these days. Sure, there are also good initiatives! But we have to dare look at the healthcare sector from an entrepreneurial perspective, without a filter.
Is that the connection EGHT CARE wants to make?
Outsourcing good nurses is important, but a lot more is needed. At EGHT CARE, we take things a step further! Yes, we place driven nurses with the customer, but on top of this, we enter into an honest dialogue and look at an organisation from a fresh perspective.
What can be done more efficiently? What needs to be urgently addressed? It is our challenge to bring customer focus and entrepreneurship to the healthcare sector. We go all out in this, with great enthusiasm and passion for the job.
And this starts with a good workflow and organisation. Is this where things are not quite going right at the moment?
I’m perhaps not the best person to attest to this; after all, I, myself, am not a nurse. But that is actually an advantage because I’m not afraid to look at things differently. As part of my preparatory training, I studied hospitality. And, my experience has taught me that if the setup isn’t right, things will go pear-shaped.
The same applies to the healthcare sector: sometimes, you have to stop and think, make the necessary adjustments and get the team on board with the change processes. Incredibly important if you want to raise the level of organisation in the healthcare sector! And absolutely crucial when there are nursing shortages.
Sounds good, but where do you start?
At EGHT CARE, we start by asking the basic, short questions. What is going well? What could be done better? What are the priorities? Once we know the answers to these questions, we can put a concrete plan into action. What, where, when, ... Tackle issues, communicate clearly and make clear arrangements. Is there really no other way to do things?
Fine, then we will admit this honestly and give transparent feedback to the nurses. The ambition of EGHT CARE? Bring more customer focus and entrepreneurship to the healthcare sector. Together, we can make things better!
This brings us seamlessly to the last question. People management in the healthcare sector: utopia or worth the effort to try to achieve?
Absolutely worth the effort to try to achieve! There are a lot of incredibly good initiatives out there. But we also have to be honest enough to admit that there is still a lot of work to be done.
Many managers in the healthcare sector are excellent at their job but don’t always have the people skills and leadership skills needed. Through EGHT CARE we want to give them advice and support in this area and help them grow. The only way is up!
Meet EGHT CARE, project sourcing in the healthcare sector.
EGHT CARE is the project partner in the healthcare sector with a passion for nursing and enterprise. Because growth is in our DNA, we advise and support healthcare organizations, practices and healthcare institutions as they move towards an efficient, well-thought-out workflow. Both in terms of people and organisation. Practical, personal, and people- and patient-driven. Want to find out more? Visit https://eghtcare.be/
‘The ambition of EGHT CARE? Bring more customer focus and entrepreneurship to the healthcare sector. Together, we can make things better!’