Staffing Plus | Request Staff

Healthcare Staffing Trends for 2014

Posted by Lauren DiChiacchio on Dec 31, 2013 4:59:00 PM

Telehealth, Healthcare Staffing TrendsThere has been no shortage of publicity around the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the issues that have plagued the website, preventing individuals from enrolling for insurance.

Somewhere in between all pundits talking about what the poor rollout means for the President, the bigger story is that this phase of the ACA means that the paradigm shift in healthcare delivery is upon us. Why, because tens of millions of Americans who may have only accessed the healthcare system in times of emergency, will become repeat users.   

Resources will be stretched and staffing needs – from clinicians to home health aides, information technology specialists to billers and coders – are expected to grow exponentially. There will be a continued demand for allied health professionals and registered nurses.

One of the biggest impacts on healthcare staffing, is that everyone is going to be ramping up at the same time, causing an incredible demand for talent. Many people have seen the benefits in pursuing a career in healthcare and have gone back to school or enrolled in certification programs. The result will be an ample supply of new graduates. The downside is that the number of experienced clinicians will be low and given the large number of older Americans who will be accessing care, the need for experienced healthcare workers will put a real strain on the system.

Healthcare organizations have spent the past several years preparing for this phase and have shifted delivery systems to provide care more efficiently and cost effectively. At the same time, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun to penalize hospitals for poor care that results in re-admissions. Thus hospital administrators everywhere are trying to design staffing and care models that will decrease or eliminate penalties and increase quality.

In an article published in Forbes, William A. Fera, M.D., principal of the advisory healthcare practice of Ernst & Young LLP (EY) in Pittsburgh, looked at four initiatives the industry is testing, that included:

  • Working as a Team – Patient-focused teams made up of physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses and other "physician extenders" allow all professionals involved to make the most of their training at a lower cost.
  • Creating New Patient Focused Positions – These new positions include patient care coordinators, who advocate for patients; chronic disease management specialists, who help coach patients through the treatment process; and community health workers, who are trained by health and medical professionals to help promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Setting Up Group Appointments – Setting up physician consultations with as many as 12 patients with similar medical conditions, like cancer or diabetes help address the physician shortage without denying patients time with a doctor. 
  • Using Telehealth Technologies – Remote monitoring and "care at a distance" healthcare can help extend clinicians' knowledge and services to remote locations that have staffing shortages.

Contingent Versus Full-Time

The healthcare industry has long relied on contingent, temporary and per diem staffing models to meet fluctuating labor demands. This may be changing as organizations are looking to contain costs. Particularly as systems begin to merge, thus eliminating some overlapping positions, organizations may seek to reduce the use of contingent workers and rely more on hiring full-time workers.

The one area where it is moving in the other direction is nurse staffing. The shortage of nurses is alarming. According to the U.S. Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030. Projections from the Heath Resources and Services Administration, state that the nursing shortage will grow to more than 1 million by 2020.

According to the U.S. Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030.

Projections from a separate agency, the Heath Resources and Services Administration, state that the nursing shortage will grow to more than 1 million by 2020.

- See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/10/09/medical-industry-heads-off-looming-nurse-shortage/#sthash.npBqQPMB.dpuf

According to the U.S. Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030.

Projections from a separate agency, the Heath Resources and Services Administration, state that the nursing shortage will grow to more than 1 million by 2020.

- See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/10/09/medical-industry-heads-off-looming-nurse-shortage/#sthash.npBqQPMB.dpuf

According to the U.S. Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030.

Projections from a separate agency, the Heath Resources and Services Administration, state that the nursing shortage will grow to more than 1 million by 2020.

- See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/10/09/medical-industry-heads-off-looming-nurse-shortage/#sthash.npBqQPMB.dpuf

According to the U.S. Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030.

Projections from a separate agency, the Heath Resources and Services Administration, state that the nursing shortage will grow to more than 1 million by 2020.

- See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/10/09/medical-industry-heads-off-looming-nurse-shortage/#sthash.npBqQPMB.dpuf

Thus, temporary nurses may become even more critical to patient care as more full-time nurses retire, patient volumes rise and hospitals look for ways to keep staff levels high and labor costs low.

Of course, there is still not a clear picture on what the end result of the ACA will be for healthcare delivery. As we move through 2014, there will be more data on what this new paradigm will really look like and what it will mean for healthcare staffing across the country.

Need to find a great job or a great employee? We can help. Visit us here for more information! 

Related Articles:

HR - The Importance of Social Media in Recruitment

Staffing Plus Blog

Topics: Behavioral Health, Healthcare

Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.