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Top Five Workforce Challenges Facing Healthcare Leaders

Nurse.Engagement.2 1024x683 - Top Five Workforce Challenges Facing Healthcare Leaders

Feeling frazzled? Overloaded by administrative paperwork? You’re not alone. In this era of clinician shortages and healthcare reform, healthcare leaders across the nation are all trying to do more with less. Here’s an overview of the top workforce challenges facing healthcare leaders in today’s ever-evolving landscape:

Rising costs:

Labor costs account for more than half of all hospital expenses, and they are expected to grow. In fact, 78% of healthcare executives predict their labor costs will increase in the next 12 months, according to a 2018 Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and Navigant survey. Consequently, healthcare leaders must determine how to control labor costs while also continuing to maintain or improve the quality of patient care.

Shortage of qualified candidates:

Experienced clinicians can be hard to find. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. will need 2.3 million new healthcare workers to help care for a rapidly aging population by 2025. However, due to a persistent shortage of skilled clinicians, hundreds of thousands of these positions will remain unfilled. The shortage is particularly acute in the nursing workforce. The American Nursing Association predicts that 700,000 nurses will leave or retire from the workforce by 2024. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough new nurse graduates to replenish the workforce. A recent American Association of Colleges of Nursing report discovered that more than 56,000 qualified applicants were turned away in 2017 due to a limited supply of nurse educators.

Retention:

Even when healthcare leaders find and hire the right person for the job, it can be difficult to keep them. Nurse turnover is on the rise, and research shows that staffing challenges are partially to blame. The turnover issue comes with a hefty price tag for hospitals already facing financial pressure. A recent study in the Journal of Nursing Administration found that it may cost anywhere from $97,216 to $104,440 to replace a nurse.

Regulatory requirements:

Managing strict guidelines for compliance can be a bit of a juggling act for many healthcare leaders. That’s because there’s a mountain of paperwork needed to ensure each contingent clinician is properly credentialed and has a clean background. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in poor patient care outcomes, fines, or even lawsuits.

Efficiency:

Meanwhile, most healthcare organizations rely on several staffing agencies to fill their open positions. However, this arrangement can become problematic if each agency has different protocols, bill rates, and procedures for invoicing, payroll, and credentialing. When that happens, healthcare leaders can turn to a managed service provider or MSP to help streamline various contingent workforce processes.

About the Author

Elena Barker is a professional writer for Medical Solutions, one of the nation's largest travel nurse staffing companies. Elena specializes in writing about the healthcare staffing industry.

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