Developing an Effective Health Care Workforce Planning Model

Executive Summary

The U.S. health care system faces growing challenges—the U.S. population is aging at a rapid rate; health care reform is expected to bring millions more patients into the system; and there are anticipated shortages in numbers of trained health care professionals to care for these patients. Therefore, the need to start now to develop more effective and efficient workforce planning models (WPMs) for health care organizations is critical.

This white paper contains both important data and insights as well as an assessment tool that will help organizations develop effective WPMs—and support excellent patient care and strengthen the U.S. health care system. By reading through this document in its entirety and completing the assessment in full, organizations can better define their needs as well as find new ways to improve their recruiting, sourcing, retention, retirement, and onboarding strategies, and use this information to refine their WPMs.

Supporting Organizations in Developing WPMs

The American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), and the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) are committed to assisting hospitals and health care systems to create WPMs unique to the delivery of patient care. In the 10-year impact statement from the American Hospital Association Strategic Plan 2012-2014, it states that the mission of the American Hospital Association Workforce Center is to “…assure hospitals have a competent and engaged workforce to deliver high quality care to patients and families.” This white paper is a response to that call, and a way we can be most supportive to organizations as they develop more effective WPMs.

About This White Paper

  • Literature Review: A literature review of more than 30 sources was conducted to gain a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of existing health care WPMs.
  • Executive Interviews: Thirty-two top-level health care executives across the country were interviewed for this white paper in order to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of existing WPMs.

Using data obtained from these sources, the WPM assessment developed for this paper takes into consideration the size, scope of practice, location, workforce issues, and demographics of an organization. We also have developed it so components can be selected a la carte to better meet the unique needs of each organization.

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