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The Power of Evidence-Based Resources for Effective Onboarding and Retention

July 6, 2023
July 6, 2023

This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “The Power of Evidence-Based Resources for Effective Onboarding and Retention.” The webinar was moderated by HealthStream’s Jill Lamle, Campaign Manager for Clinical Staff Development and featured Christina Barnes, MSN, CPNP-PC, High Acuity Pediatric Section Editor for EBSCO and Angie Biesterfeld, Senior Solution Executive, Clinical Staff Development, HealthStream. 

The ongoing issues around healthcare staffing and the increasing availability of less-than-reliable online resources have combined to provide a significant challenge for healthcare leaders. Evidence-based nursing content has the power to change your onboarding experience and improve retention rates while providing reliable content right where nurses need it the most – at the bedside.  


The Scope and Cost of Healthcare’s Staffing Crisis

The staffing crisis has left healthcare leaders with significant (and costly) challenges. Biesterfeld shared some of the latest statistics associated with staffing issues. The national turnover rate is 22.5% and the cost associated with the turnover of just a single RN is $52,350.00. Further complicating the matter, it is difficult to replace an RN and leaders can expect it to take between 61 and 120 days.

As vacancy rates increase, so does the use of temporary staff. Temporary staff may bring experience and be able to quickly fill those critical roles, but they can cost up to ten times more than in-house staff, and it is difficult to know what their skills and experience gaps are. They are also subject to turnover making it increasingly difficult to maintain a consistent, high-quality team.


Building Effective and Efficient Onboarding Processes 

The staffing crisis has meant increasing pressure on healthcare leaders to ensure that onboarding is fast, effective, and efficient as possible. Efficient onboarding processes help to relieve the financial pressures of temporary staff usage and can demonstrate the organization’s commitment to employees, but how can that be accomplished? Biesterfeld shared that healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to technology, automation, and evidence-based resources to improve both onboarding and educational processes. This approach provides ready-made, evidence-based content that is regularly updated and can help standardize both onboarding and ongoing educational processes.


Supporting Upskilling and Cross Training Efforts

Barnes shared that in her experience as a new nurse, the onboarding process and the unit-based training that she received was uneven. There was no access to evidence-based resources that were available at the point of care. There was not a central repository of facility processes and turning to sources like Google and YouTube meant being unsure of whether or not the information really represented evidence-based clinical best practice.

Dynamic Health provides ready-made, evidence-based resources that can support nurses during the onboarding process, at the bedside and as they transition from one unit to another. It is no secret that specialty roles can be the most difficult ones for which to recruit. This type of resource allows organizations to leverage their current staff by supporting them with trusted educational resources and demonstrating a commitment to their professional development. In addition, Biesterfeld shared that many are also offering leadership development courses to help populate a pipeline of future leaders.


Content You Can Trust – At the Bedside

Barnes shared that before Dynamic Health makes content available to users, it goes through an extensive editorial process to ensure that the content is not just evidence-based but also easy to access and use. In addition to ensuring clinical validity, the Dynamic Health team also works hard to be sure that the content is mobile-friendly, displaying well on both computers and mobile devices. The content is displayed so that it can be easily read at the bedside.

The literature is systematically surveilled to reflect the evolving state of the art. Librarians regularly perform literature searches and reviews. Updates are done on a regular cadence and changes that are identified as critical or potentially practice-changing are updated right away. In addition, clinically-reviewed customer feedback is incorporated into the update process. Barnes also shared that by the time a skill is published and live on Dynamic Health, nurses are able to claim CE credits for that content.  


Standardizing Care with Seamless Integration

Thanks to the partnership between EBSCO and HealthStream, the information is transformed into a learning activity that can lead to safer, more standardized care. The learning activity includes post-tests to ensure competency and integrated skills checklists to facilitate course assignments and tracking. Leaders can choose from more than 2,500 courses.