More than 40% of Americans are unable to access the mental health services they need, and over 150 million people live in federally designated mental health professional shortage areas. A combination of economic, societal, and public health pressures has contributed to growing mental health shortages in the United States.

As the psychiatry shortage continues to increase, it is critical for medical facilities to think outside of the box. Our team has identified a few ways your medical facility can overcome psychiatry staffing shortages to ensure your communities have access to the psychiatric care they need.

Strategies for Overcoming Mental Health Shortages

  1. Offer Telepsychiatry Services.

Within minutes, patients can easily connect with a Psychiatrist from the comfort of their own homes. This is especially helpful for patients who live in rural areas and might not otherwise have access to the mental health specialty care they need. The use of video-based telepsychiatry can help Psychiatrists see and treat more patients, and as a result, reduces patient bottlenecks in shortage areas and stress on healthcare staff.

  1. Address Burnout & Create Workplace Flexibility.

Nearly half of all Psychiatrists experience burnout. A major factor includes the shortage of healthcare professionals. Burnout and job dissatisfaction are proven to increase the probability of healthcare workers leaving their job. It is critical to address burnout and reengage staff to avoid turnover at your healthcare facility.

Creating a flexible and positive work culture will directly help increase job satisfaction and boost employee retention rates. Offering more flexible scheduling and vacation time is an easy way to make sure your team stays refreshed and motivated. Telehealth can also be a great way to increase scheduling flexibility!

  1. Optimize Psychiatry Staffing with Locum Tenens

Partnering with a locum tenens staffing agency is a great way to bring qualified mental health professionals to your healthcare facility. Leveraging locum tenens Psychiatrists can be a great way to relieve your employed staff’s workload and overcome any patient backlogs.

157 million Americans currently live in Psychiatry shortage areas and more than 60% of psychiatrists are 55 or older. At Medicus Healthcare Solutions, psychiatry is one of our top specialties. We take the time to understand your unique challenges and connect you with new talent that is both a clinical and cultural fit. For more information or to collaborate on options, please feel free to reach out.