Workforce 2015:
Strategy Trumps Shortage

(January 2010)

Workforce 2015: Strategy Trumps Shortage

Workforce Facts & Trends at a Glance:
The Hospital Leader's Guide

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An adequate number of well-trained staff is the fundamental resource for hospitals.  In 2009, the AHA Long-Range Policy Committee explored likely workforce issues that the hospital field will face over the next decade, and identified findings and recommendations which hospitals and their associations can use to develop successful strategies to ensure an adequate workforce. 

Using as background the latest research on workforce demographics and trends, as well as presentations by health care experts, the committee found that while hospitals generally face low vacancies at the current time due to the effects of the economic recession, serious shortages and a tight labor market overall are looming.

The committee’s report, Workforce 2015: Strategy Trumps Shortage describes how hospitals face the overlapping challenges of attracting and retaining replacements for retiring workers, while expanding its workforce to care for an aging population and coping with significant changes in health care delivery.  Meeting those challenges requires new thinking about the workforce and workplace, and new strategies about managing human resources.  

Thus, the report states, as hospitals enter a new decade the key strategies to maintaining an adequate workforce by number and skill are to: 

1.  Redesign work processes and introduce new technologies to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and employee satisfaction,

2.  Retain existing workers, including those able to retire, and

3.  Attract the new generation of workers. 

Within these three overarching strategies, the report makes a series of recommendations for actions that should be taken by hospitals and their associations to have an adequate workforce for the near future.



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