Employee Relations

The Unique Challenges of Hospital and Healthcare HR

Healthcare HR personnel are facing new challenges. LaborSoft dives into what hospital and healthcare HR need to address and the technology that can help.

Unique Challenges Faced by Hospital and Healthcare HR Departments

HR professionals in hospitals and other healthcare organizations face precarious challenges that other industries don’t necessarily contend with. Due to stringent regulations, hospital and healthcare HR departments must be cognizant of compliance and patient satisfaction even more so than in other industries. If job satisfaction is held high on HR’s priority list, then the other chief priority of providers—quality patient care—can take center stage.

healthcare HRStaff Retention: Attracting and Keeping Talent

One of the key challenges that healthcare HR professionals face is staff acquisition and retention. Due to the fact that the demand of quality medical personnel is much higher than the supply, physicians and nurses often have the pick of the litter when it comes to deciding where to work, which leads to shortages in certain areas of the country. This is due to the current deluge of retiring baby boomers in the healthcare industry, with not enough of the Millennial and Gen Z generations emerging to fill the gap.

Retention is also a big issue. The healthcare industry has faced unusually high turnover in the past few years, whether due to newer professionals fleeing the industry, burnout among those who remain, or the lure and opportunity of advancement elsewhere. The results of a 2023 AMN Healthcare survey showed that registered nurses’ career satisfaction dropped to 71% in 2023 after hovering around 80%-85% for a decade. The 2023 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report found that over the past five years, RNs in step down, emergency services, behavioral health and telemetry were most mobile with a cumulative turnover rate between 108.7 percent and 115.2 percent. The takeaway is grim news for retention: "Essentially, these departments will turn over their entire RN staff in less than five years." 

With hospital HR departments trying to play “catch-up”, it has become increasingly difficult to recruit talent.  With technology being of paramount importance today, HR professionals have to adapt in order to improve employee relations, attract talent, and then incentivize them to stay. 

Some ways that hospitals and other healthcare institutions are meeting these challenges are by getting more tech-savvy by recruiting using online vehicles instead of traditional means, as well as providing more tech-based solutions for patient care.  Young healthcare workers coming out of school today value benefits and career mobility more so than salary, so healthcare HR professionals need to shift how they woo potential candidates and/or current employees by offering competitive benefits packages, as well as job training and career advancement opportunities from within.   

Regulations: Keeping Compliant

Another challenge facing healthcare HR professionals is maintaining compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and implementing reporting practices, including tracking employee work hours as they relate to health benefits and imposing annual reviews and performance evaluations. It is also required for employees to have background checks, certification renewals or upkeep, and proof of inoculations. As a result, healthcare HR departments have adopted Management Software products for tracking and reporting purposes that also contain modules for recording employee data.

Cost Considerations

All of these recruitment and retention campaigns translate into investment. As every business in every industry knows, making money requires spending money. However, hospital and other similar institutional budgets can be tight and a myriad of funding constraints exist. So, they need to toe the line between offering competitive salaries while staying within the parameters of the budget and finding areas where costs can be cut to accommodate. One of these areas is IT, where cloud-based HRIS solutions and platforms can be implemented in areas such as payroll and scheduling, thereby reducing, or even eliminating, internal expenditures on hardware and application upgrades and even offering automated maintenance.

While there are many challenges for HR professionals in healthcare, there are strategic ways to be both efficient and creative in attracting and retaining talent. It is integral for HR managers at healthcare institutions to cater to their employees using various tactics like comprehensive compensation packages and burgeoning technology in order to enhance the employee experience, which hopefully translates into long-term job loyalty and a happier, more productive workforce.

LaborSoft’s innovative technology is one of many integral solutions that keep your business, in business. Our employee relations analytics, case management workflows, and our central repository of documentation streamlines case management to mitigate risk of operational bottlenecks, costly lawsuits, and legal ramifications stemming from union issues and HR complaints. This sensitive data requires that maximum security protocols are in place and that your information is protected at all times.

Contact us for a customized demonstration and learn how LaborSoft can help you improve communications, build a more collaborative, safe, and supportive workplace, while reducing the likelihood of costly litigation. 

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This blog was originally published on 8/22/2018 and updated on 10/15/23.

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