Blog | HR |
10 Min Read
December 18, 2023

What’s Wrong with Onboarding in Healthcare?

by Morris Isaacson

Healthcare onboarding can be complex — smooth processes are important but often overlooked. Similar to caregiver scheduling, neglecting critical details can lead to problems throughout the organization, while a streamlined onboarding plan is key for a strong and happy healthcare team.


In this article, we’ll show you how to navigate the special challenges of healthcare onboarding. We’ll explore the issues of ineffective onboarding and review simple solutions. 

The Importance of Onboarding in Healthcare 


Planning for onboarding, including the data collection for necessary paperwork like consent forms and NDAs, simplifies processes for new hires and can save you thousands in re-staffing costs. So why doesn’t it get prioritized as often as it should? 


Proper employee onboarding can be easy to overlook and difficult to execute. A new employee needs a transition period where they’ll temporarily add to the workload. There are specific procedures in healthcare, such as proper disinfection for in-home healthcare, HIPPA regulations, and policies for caregiver support that new employees should understand thoroughly before they get to work. This means onboarding is particularly important to ensure your company continues to provide high-quality healthcare.  


During this time, there is a chance for the new hire to connect and build a working relationship with coworkers, ensuring the possibility for good teamwork and communication. This communication can prevent injuries and increase patient advocacy and trust in your business. Patients want to know they have an efficient care team who won’t have any miscommunications about medication, dosages, or missed symptoms. 

Common Challenges in Healthcare Onboarding Processes


Healthcare onboarding processes involve particular obstacles, including but not limited to protocols, regulations, ethics and privacy. Challenges include: 

Higher workload in the industry leads to burnout making onboarding tasks extra work for already overwhelmed staff. 

Lack of interdepartmental coordination can create a disconnection from other departments, including payroll, leading to repeated data and data entry errors. 

The diversity of roles and responsibilities (nursing vs elderly caregivers, etc.,) makes a one-size-fits-all onboarding approach inefficient, leading to missing information and essential documentation. 

The Impact of Onboarding in Healthcare 


The way your onboarding impacts both the workplace and staff beyond the initial integration phase trickles down to your brand image. How much time are businesses using to onboard new hires? A lengthy manual onboarding process will often have outstanding tasks that managers can forget to follow up on for months. This lack of automation can lead to employees being unable to use their ID badge on the first day, not being added to payroll effectively and the employer having incomplete information.

All of this, understandably, isn’t great for employee morale and teams often bear the weight of those ineffective processes, adding to the already low employee satisfaction in the healthcare industry. 


More importantly, implementing an efficient automated process can decrease time spent creating onboarding programs, and prevent issues with data, protocol, payroll and more. It’s well worth it to create onboarding processes that orient your new hires from the moment they accept the job offer to when they’re well-acquainted with their role and beyond. So, how can you make it happen? 

Best Practices for Effective Onboarding in Healthcare


So, what can employers and managers do to combat what seems like an already uphill battle with hiring and retaining good employees? Let’s look at some best practices and strategies you can start implementing today.  

Strategies for Improving Onboarding in Healthcare Organizations


Start creating your new hire’s ideal onboarding with these healthcare onboarding best practices. To start, create an immediate connection with the new employee by tailoring the opening with a welcome video or brand message.  

Set clear objectives

Design an onboarding process that maps out the plan including how long the process will take and which tasks need to be accomplished. 

Make it easy to follow

Implement automation tools that create custom workflows with reminders and alerts. This will make it simple to keep track of any completed and outstanding onboarding tasks. 

Set checkpoints for feedback

Whether you add a comment box for new hires to leave feedback or schedule specific 1-on-1 meetings, the onboarding program for new employees should open communication so you can create a process to implement the feedback into the onboarding program and improve it over time. 

Add support mechanisms

Nobody wants to feel alone as they adjust to a new environment. Add opportunities for check-ins with team members, managers and others while new employees get accustomed to the workplace. 

Set up continuous learning opportunities

While onboarding is the time when employees learn the most all at once, at-work education shouldn’t stop there. Onboarding and career development are closely linked by allowing employees to plan out a growth process within the company. Include scheduled learning opportunities long-term in your onboarding process. Automating this process allows employees to get reminders of an upcoming training session as opposed to having to remember it on their own. 

These staff retention strategies in healthcare will take you a long way, but using technology for your onboarding will do the heavy lifting to keep your staff from work overload.  

Maximizing Healthcare Onboarding Solutions 


So, which tools can take on these challenges and provide that seamless experience? 

Customized Onboarding


Plan for the roles you’ll be onboarding and create custom workflows. Features in onboarding software include welcome videos, document and data collection, as well as legal e-signatures. Set alerts that save HR from following up manually. Ensure data fields are mandatory to prevent missing information.  

Training and Development in Healthcare Onboarding ​


Training your new hires doesn’t have to be another task in your current employee’s to-do list. An all-in-one solution will assist in both onboarding and future training and development, including annual training and certifications. 

The Future of Onboarding in Healthcare 


Implementing payroll and HR all-in-one software can change how you approach training new hires and relieve those onboarding pain points. Empeon’s onboarding solutions are designed to simplify and streamline processes to ensure you remain in compliance with all necessary information and documentation.  

Empeon’s onboarding software, Paths, also eliminates duplicate data entry and streamlines onboarding without the rush to get employees to work faster and better prepared. Most importantly, it’s made to leave employees with a positive feeling about the work ahead to boost employee retention. 


Want to see how it works? Book a demo

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