Talent Tuesday: The Healthcare Workforce

Taking a break from who is hiring and who was hired, we rounded up some reading on the state of the healthcare workforce. Like many things in our lives for the past two years the pandemic has taken a toll on it. The healthcare workforce might be on the top of the list of disruption. With 18% of healthcare workers having left their jobs and another 12% being laid off, what are the solutions for healthcare as a whole? You can’t open a paper, magazine, or watch news and not hear about the crisis that has evolved. Here are some insights and reports.

To Listen

We start with an episode from Healthcare Rap from Healthcare NOW Radio, entitled The Talent War is Getting Real, Yo!

Executive recruiter Kelly Gill is back in the house to share some provocative thinking about career planning in the healthcare innovation space. This is the second in a three-part series for early career professionals – those with a few years of experience who are looking at what’s ahead. Kelly shares powerful ways to better understand career choices at the intersection of healthcare, tech, and innovation, as well as a firsthand look at how the Great Resignation is impacting the Digital Health talent wars. All that, plus the Flava of the Week about a new video from Andrew King on Healthcare Consumerism. It’s an uphill battle to get different entities and stakeholders on the same page to prioritize consumer initiatives, so how can we tell the story of the consumer shift and why it matters?

In the News

ICYMI: Workforce Shortages In Long Term Care Facilities Continue To Worsen
From AHCA/NCAL (@ahcancal) – In case you missed it, the workforce crisis in our nation’s long term care facilities is growing more dire. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that long term care facilities have lost more than 400,000 employees since the start of the pandemic. These are the nurses, aides and staff that provide round-the-clock care to our nation’s most vulnerable residents. It is time for leaders in Washington, D.C. to step up and help resolve this ongoing issue.

New Surgeon General Advisory Sounds Alarm on Health Worker Burnout and Resignation
United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a new Surgeon General’s Advisory highlighting the urgent need to address the health worker burnout crisis across the country. Health workers, including physicians, nurses, community and public health workers, nurse aides, among others, have long faced systemic challenges in the health care system even before the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to crisis levels of burnout. The pandemic further exacerbated burnout for health workers, with many risking and sacrificing their own lives in the service of others while responding to a public health crisis. Promoting the mental health and well-being of our nation’s frontline health workers is a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and a core objective of President Biden’s national mental health strategy, within his Unity Agenda.

Filling the Gaps: Survey Finds Nearly 60% of Hospitals and Health Systems Have More Than 100 Job Vacancies
AKASA™ (@akasahealth), a developer of AI for healthcare operations, released findings from a new survey where more than 400 healthcare finance leaders identified vacancies across their healthcare organizations and the revenue cycle. The findings highlight how insufficient staffing is hampering daily operations and pushing a strained workforce to the limit.

HCAP Partners Invests in FleetNurse to Support Rapid Growth in Nurse Staffing Market
HCAP Partners (@hcapllc), a California-based private equity firm and nationally recognized impact investor, announced its investment in FleetNurse, a leading provider of innovative on-demand healthcare staffing solutions. In addition, the firm announced that Nicolas Lopez, Principal at HCAP, will join FleetNurse’s board of directors. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Secretary Becerra Highlighted the Importance of Strengthening the Health Care Workforce, Launching 988, Access to Cancer Screening, and Investing in Youth Mental Health
On April 19, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra participated in events, site visits, and roundtables underscoring the importance of addressing the health care provider shortage; planning for the launch of 988; increasing cancer screening, prevention, and early detection; improving youth mental health, and housing as a social determinant of health. Throughout the trip, Secretary Becerra engaged with federal and state leaders who have supported their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

To Read

How Surveillance-Level Data Monitoring Supports Safer Care in Hospitals Despite Staffing ChallengesBy John R. Zaleski, Philips Capsule (@capsule_tech) – Clinical staffing shortages, particularly nursing, pre-date COVID-19 by decades, but the pandemic and its effects on the profession and economy have taken an even greater toll. A November report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 450,000 workers have left the healthcare industry since February 2020, with the vast majority coming from nursing or residential care facilities.

Travel nurses raced to help during Covid. Now they’re facing abrupt cuts. By Hannah Norman, Kaiser Health News (@KHNews) – Tiffanie Jones was a few tanks of gas into her drive from Tampa, Florida, to Cheyenne, Wyoming, when she found out her travel nurse contract had been canceled. Jones, who has been a nurse for 17 years, caught up with a Facebook group for travel nurses and saw she wasn’t alone. Nurses had reported abruptly losing jobs and seeing their rates slashed as much as 50 percent midcontract. “One lady packed up her whole family and was canceled during orientation,” she said.

Workforce Woes? 3 Ways Day Health Can Help You Strengthen Your Organization and Engage Your WorkforceFrom Day Health Strategies (@DayHealthStrat) – Over the past two years, our clients have come to us with a myriad of workforce challenges, from hiring and recruiting to engagement and retention. While COVID-19 has presented challenges for workforces across the globe, these challenges are particularly pronounced in healthcare, where staff continue to battle the pandemic and see increasing levels of stress and burnout. What can healthcare organizations do to ensure the continued health and success of their workforces?

The nursing shortage demands boldness and creativity. Now.From Wolters Kluwer (@Wolters_Kluwer) –  The COVID-19 pandemic has painfully exacerbated this country’s nursing shortage, but let’s be honest: we all knew this shortage was coming, pandemic or not. We should have been better prepared. Now we are paying the price with staffing gaps that affect the care of our patients. That’s why in the summer and fall of 2021, Wolters Kluwer and UKG conducted interviews and an online survey to better understand nurse leaders’ perspectives on staffing and evolving care delivery workforce models. We were surprised to find that while these compassionate leaders fully grasp the day-to-day challenges this shortage is imposing, they seem less sure about how to drive the changes necessary for tackling the crisis. Some believe small steps are enough. Others simply seem paralyzed by the enormity of the problem.

There Is Hope: 5 Takeaways from the Great Resignation and the Added Impact on Healthcare Revenue CycleFrom the AKASA Blog (@akasahealth) – The Great Resignation has significantly affected all industries in the U.S., but suffice to say, healthcare has been one of the hardest hit. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare is among the top three industries with a 3% rise in monthly “quits rate” in November. Yet workforce shortages are nothing new to healthcare, with staff turnover rates reaching 19.5% in the last five years. At the same time, wages have steadily increased. This combination has led to increased costs and lost productivity every time an organization has a team member resign.


Staffing Resource Center
Twitter: @MGMA

With physician burnout on the rise and engagement on the decline, it can feel like there’s nothing you can do to combat the staffing shortage impacting the healthcare industry. Check out their list of best resources to help you restore your staffing levels and make it through the twilight of this pandemic. You can do this, and we’re here to help.

2022 Healthcare Workforce Rescue Package
All In WellBeing First for Healthcare
Twitter: @AllIn4WellBeing

Two years into a global pandemic, healthcare team members are in crisis. Leaders are bombarded with competing messages about how to support them and address workforce shortages. A group of experts in collaboration with the National Academy of Medicine identified the top five actions leaders should take to support team members now. These evidence-based actions can be initiated within 3 months and build a foundation for a long-term system well-being strategy.