The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is now a global threat. The United Nations Development Programme claims that it is the “defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War II.”
Yet, the pandemic is more than just a health crisis. In every country it reaches, the likelihood of denting social, economic, and political crises increases.
The COVID-19 has either overloaded businesses or bought them to a standstill within a short amount of time. Since then, many corporations have taken steps to minimize the pandemic’s impact through work from home setups, restricting travel, and even shutting down their offices.
For IT-BPO companies who are experiencing pricing pressures, delays in tech investments, and project deferrals, banking on continuity plans is the way to go.
The sector is putting on a brave face as they attempt to be patient despite the profound effects of new work protocols on outsourcing providers and their consumers.
In the wake of the pandemic, organizations can use this opportunity to test the efficiency and robustness of their business models.
Outsourcing in the Time of COVID-19
Businesses might be thrown into uncertainties, but these challenging times also call for alternatives. With profound effects on both providers and their customers, companies have shifted their operations to a remote or work-from-home type of environment.
The productive arrangement not only for businesses but also for the global health crisis is needed. This is important since some business functions still need to be done promptly.
Many parts of Asia have since gained expertise in back-office operations, software development, SEO services, virtual assistance, and digital marketing — all of which are essential today.
COVID-19 only emphasizes the need for businesses to have alternatives in order to continue their operations. Outsourcing experts have become one solution to the current business landscape.
Even more, outsourcing firms continue to be relevant even to this day because of a sharp increase in the demand for healthcare workers. They can continue their vital operations even in the midst of the pandemic.
Especially now, when healthcare staffing organizations must undergo the labor-intensive process of onboarding healthcare workers, thoroughness and precision needed in processes must not be compromised.
How Outsourcing Can Aid the COVID-19 Crisis
Here are ways on how outsourcing can help combat and ease the effects of the global health crisis — both in and out of the healthcare sector.
- Outsourcing can help integrate organizational systems and streamline the healthcare credentialing process.
In light of the surging demand for healthcare workers everywhere, healthcare staffing organizations are working hard to combat the waves of people hit by the virus.
Dr. Michael Osterholm of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota says “We have to figure out now how we’re going to get hospitals through, not just today, not this week, not next week, but potentially months of being under siege with these cases.”
For healthcare workers — both clinicians and non-clinicians — to be onboard, a labor-intensive process is needed. This includes reference checks, employment and license verification, and credentialing processes.
This can take weeks or months to complete. Outsourced credentialing support services can help, for example, integrate organizational systems. They can staff organizations with healthcare workers and bring them where they are needed the most.
Most outsourcing and staffing companies stick to specific processes that deliver results. They work efficiently and carefully, following the guidelines provided.
- Outsourcing can provide healthcare organizations with administrative support.
Healthcare enterprises still operate actively. It means they still have managing and administrative needs. In the time of coronavirus, they are busier than ever. Outsourcing firms can generally help with the following:
- Job posting
- Timecard auditing and exception management
- Collections support; and
- Billing and collections
Firms are skilled in facilitating processes seamlessly while delivering cost-effective solutions. They can handle applicant tracking systems (ATS), help healthcare companies search for clinicians based on specific skill sets, and can better assign the candidates to their clients.
- Outsourcing companies can help lower operational costs and turnaround time for businesses during a pandemic.
Staffing Industry Analysts find that the whole credentialing process for 67% of clinicians takes two to three weeks. While many firms can exert valuable time and effort to protect their clients from further liabilities, many are still unable to do so in a quick, precise, and cost-effective manner.
The credentialing process not only improves the vetting process of healthcare professionals, but it also lowers the selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses while increasing their clients’ placement rates.
Even when some companies are hesitant to outsource such procedures, the proven and effective processes of offshore RPOs such as Sysgen RPO can mitigate the fear of larger organizations.
- It can help promote continuous healthcare.
Outsourcing firms can help healthcare organizations provide better continuous care, especially in the wake of a pandemic.
Up to now, illnesses aside from the coronavirus still threaten humans. In the same way, the delivery of healthcare still has not changed much. It remains episodic and relies more on the willingness of the patient to address their symptoms.
Patients still seek medical attention once they experience symptoms. When patients do not feel active symptoms, there is no need to seek help from a medical provider anytime soon. This kind of behavior provides a massive gap for healthcare workers to care for patients properly.
This form of episodic healthcare becomes less integrated, given our current situation. With continuous healthcare, organizations have the option to integrate their systems. It can also allow health workers to access central medical records.
Continuous healthcare gives insight into a patient’s patterns. Tendencies can be identified, progression can be prevented, and the patient can avoid the symptom or illness. The ability to monitor such data can be managed by hospitals, but assistance should also be given.
With the vast amount of data collected every day, hospitals can focus on healthcare service delivery. Technical support and other concerns on healthcare management solutions can be outsourced.
Big data and technology can help aid hospitals in identifying trends for treatments and active cases of COVID-19, for example. With careful review of security and quality assurance, hospitals can easily outsource analytics and health information management to trusted providers.
- It encourages and promotes social distancing.
Above everything else, every company’s priority should be the wellbeing of their employees.
Outsourcing immediately answers to the risk of employees contracting the virus. This is a risk that is more likely to proceed if employees continue to work and walk among potentially infected individuals.
While there are unavoidable consequences during a remote work setup, this is the safest and most effective way to work at the moment. All of these setbacks can only be a part of the adjustment period, which can affect the productivity level of each worker and the efficiency of a firm.
By outsourcing vital tasks to reputable firms, business owners will be more assured that all tasks are to being carried out successfully and adequately.
Questions to Ponder On
In shifting your business focus from having lost time due to the pandemic, you can have a better ‘productive time.’ You can also focus more on your core business functions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if outsourcing is right for your business, especially during these times.
- Do you need to reduce your staff headcount while still keeping your finger on the numbers?
- Are general administrative functions such as payroll processing, bookkeeping, and other general accounting tasks taking up valuable hours that could be used for more meaningful business management?
- Do you experience frequent staff changes resulting in increased training costs and lost time?
- Are you finding it a challenge to keep up to date with changes in legislation?
- Are managing software changes, renewal costs, and training updates an issue?
- Are you experiencing increases in quarterly or annual bookkeeping costs?
- Are you spending many hours outside of work to complete accounting tasks?
- Are you finding it hard to review profits, performance, and future growth plans?
- Are you doing the bare minimum to get by without really taking notice of the data and what your financial results are telling you?
While still in this pandemic, seeking for the efficiency and meaning in the work we do is very important. It is recommended that you review your business plans and internal costs to assist you in making the right choice.
A reliable partner with expertise in staffing will help you through this pandemic.
We are all hoping for global operations to be restored conveniently, yet it is also during these times that we should be prioritizing our health above anything else.
With more than 28 years of experience in the industry, Sysgen RPO is one of the premier RPO staffing companies in the Philippines.
Our virtual channels are unreachable by the virus. Contact us to know more about how we can help you through this pandemic.
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Yan, H., Maxouris, C., & Almasy, S. (2020). US coronavirus cases soar past 8,700 as officials try to head off overwhelming effects. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/health/us-coronavirus-case-updates-wednesday/index.html