By Lorri Markum

October 26, 2023

In today's fast-paced world, we have become used to multitasking in our personal and professional lives. Thanks to mobile devices and global networks, we are always connected to work, family, friends, news, and society. However, this constant connection can make it difficult to relax.

Professionally, we often take on so much that we fail to recognize the extent of our burdens and how they may negatively impact our productivity. Like the iconic I Love Lucy episode in the candy factory, the process initially seems smooth and easy until it’s not. 

As an industry leader in identifying real-time insights and risk signals from complex laboratory data and working closely with labs nationwide of all sizes, hc1 has encountered countless stories from lab leaders voicing their top issues regarding their lab operations. Inadequate staffing is at the top of their list.

Even before the COVID pandemic, hospitals and clinical labs struggled to find sufficient staffing for their daily needs. Since the pandemic, the ability to juggle staffing demands has been insurmountable. Yet leaders have forged ahead, making do with what they have, overworking themselves and their staff out of necessity. Burnout and lack of retention have become residual effects of not having enough hands on deck to fulfill the high demands and needs, causing even more problems. 

Leaders have become even more focused on getting the immediate tasks completed, pushing harder, demanding more and taking on more themselves. As a result, they have begun dropping the proverbial “candy.” The quality of their productivity has waned and expenses have increased as they unconsciously settle for just getting things out the door, checked off the list, etc., resulting in true capabilities being sacrificed. Playing catch-up is an endless cycle when no resolutions are available to address the root problem.

Help for Overwhelmed Lab Managers

hc1 took this issue of lab understaffing to heart and developed a solution that identifies under-optimized staff scheduling and offers proactive recommendations to resolve problems before they happen. 

hc1 Workforce Optimization™ helps eliminate the overwhelming aspect of lab management, allowing lab leaders to feel less overwhelmed by predicting demand for lab services across the organization and suggesting specific, department-level resource adjustments. Through this optimization, labs can minimize sendout and short-term staffing costs, decrease the staff turnover and burnout caused by understaffing and reduce TaT to improve patient outcomes.

Feeling overwhelmed may never be completely removed from the professional lives of healthcare and lab leaders, but having the right tools to project future needs can allow a smoother journey and higher quality outcomes for all.

Feeling overwhelmed as a lab manager? You don't have to go it alone

Watch our on-demand, 30-minute webinar Doing More With Less and learn how hc1 can help you successfully become a more optimized lab despite fewer available resources.


Lorri Markum is the marketing manager for hc1 Insights and has over two decades of corporate and nonprofit marketing leadership experience. Lorri specializes in B2B marketing and SEO optimization. Before joining hc1, she was the marketing manager for a nonprofit healthcare organization serving 40 counties throughout Indiana.

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