We can all agree there is a global talent shortage and, considering the U.S. population is shrinking along with the number of people in the workforce, the issue is only going to get worse. So, we scoured publications, websites, and more to learn how health care practices and hospitals across the country are addressing the challenge. Here is some of what we found…
Upskill your current workforce.
Nothing says you value your people more than when you invest in their future. A 55,000-person healthcare system in Cincinnati, called Beons Secours Merc Health (BSMH), created Called to Grow – a program consisting of tuition reimbursement and career pathways to help employees move into higher skilled roles. BSMH partnered with a company specializing in upskilling employees. All employees – whether on-call or full-time – are eligible to participate starting their first day of work. (Hilgers, Laura. How One Healthcare System Is Addressing a Talent Shortage. February 7, 2023. LinkedIn.)
Provide 100% tuition assistance paid up front.
As part of the Called to Grow program, BSMH covers 100% of tuition – paid up front – for more than 120 clinical certifications, undergraduate and graduate degrees, and nursing degrees at 15 institutions. (Hilgers, Laura. How One Healthcare System Is Addressing a Talent Shortage. February 7, 2023. LinkedIn.)
BSMH has three HR internal mobility specialists to learn about employee interests, identify potential careers, layout career paths, and help employees follow them. “Someone in laundry and linen services, for example, could train to become a care companion on the nursing support team. A care companion could then train to become a patient care technician.” (Hilgers, Laura. How One Healthcare System Is Addressing a Talent Shortage. February 7, 2023. LinkedIn.)
Engage students to create a talent pipeline.
Three hospital groups in Chicago created Healthcare Forward, a program offering high school students in economically depressed areas training and the guarantee of a job interview for entry-level positions. (UChicagoMedicine. Chicago Health Systems join forces to promote careers in healthcare across West and South Sides. December 6, 2021.)
Mary Washington Healthcare in Virginia worked with a local community college to create a clinical education model that allows student nurses to support current nurses before graduation. Geisinger in Pennsylvania provides up to 175 employees $40,000 in support a year to pursue a nursing career in return for a five-year commitment to work as an inpatient nurse. (American Hospital Association. Senate Statement: Recruiting, Revitalizing and Diversifying – Examining the Healthcare Workforce Shortage. February 10, 2022.)
Children’s Hospital Colorado and Denver Health’s Medical Career Collaborative (MC2) gives high school students hands-on experiences to foster interest in healthcare careers. 96% of participants complete the program and over 70% go on to pursue a healthcare career. Some even end up working for one of the two institutions involved. (Davis, Carol. Stop Workforce Shortages: 3 Ways. June 2022. HealthLeadersMedia.com.)
Offer an Apprenticeship Program.
Trinity Health in Michigan addressed its medical assistant shortage by adopting an apprentice program that has trained 129 assistants since its start and improved retention by 76%. It pays students to go to school three days a week and work at the hospital two days. (American Hospital Association. How Some Hospitals Are Grappling with the Workforce Shortage. June 28, 2022. AHA.org.)
Succession planning & promotion from within.
Indiana University Health places great emphasis on the talent review process. Staff record short- and long-term career goals on talent profiles, their dreams, and where they are willing to live. Each employee’s leader completes a talent assessment. Then senior leaders turn to the talent pool to fill manager and senior-level positions. Two out of every three promotions go to an existing employee. (Davis, Carol. Stop Workforce Shortages: 3 Ways. June 2022. HealthLeadersMedia.com.)
Use artificial intelligence (AI) for greater accuracy in staffing needs and scheduling.
Sanford Health’s previous nurse staffing plans were accurate about 60% of the time. Its AI driven tool enables data analytics that increased nurse staffing plans to 90% accuracy. As a result, patients were cared for, and staff didn’t burn out from being overworked or unable to take time off. (Davis, Carol. Stop Workforce Shortages: 3 Ways. June 2022. HealthLeadersMedia.com.)
There is one other thing you can do – engage RBT CPAs for all of your accounting, tax, audit and business consulting needs so your staff is freed up to focus on attracting and retaining the talent needed to provide care today and in the future. To learn what RBT CPAs can do for your organization, click here.