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Four Healthcare Staffing Trends – and What it Means to You

December 17, 2015


A recent column in Forbes looked at innovative strategies used by healthcare organizations to provide value-based care. Each of these has implications for how you think about talent.
Guest columnist, William A. Fera, M.D., principal of the advisory healthcare practice of Ernst & Young LLP (EY) in Pittsburgh, looked at four initiatives:

1. Working as a team: Patient-focused teams made up physicians, physician extenders and other professionals can better coordinate care and help to address the increasing physician shortage.177726623

What it means to you: These professionals often aren’t trained in multi-disciplinary teamwork. As you are recruiting, you need to evaluate competencies like collaboration, teamwork, openness to ideas and the ability to empower others. On a practical note, not all physicians know how to effectively use physician extenders – explore the physician’s experience and the mid-level’s expectations to ensure a good fit.

2. New patient-focused positions: The shift toward better coordinated care is creating new patient engagement professions. These new positions include patient care coordinators, chronic disease management specialists and community health workers, who are trained by health and medical professionals to help promote healthy lifestyles.

What it means to you: As you recruit and select candidates for these positions, you’ll need more than a job description. You are looking for a unique skill set that probably isn’t reflected in a resume. How will you evaluate the ability to remain patient-focused, with a high customer service attitude and the ability to multi-task and navigate complex care channels?

3. Group appointments: Organizations are setting up physician consultations with as many as 12 patients. These are designed to ensure time with patients in the face of a physician shortage and to create an atmosphere of support and help among patients.

What it means to you: There is already a challenge improving physician-patient interaction skills. Group appointments can multiply this challenge by twelve. You are looking for physicians who can meet patient needs in a unique setting – display appropriate amounts of compassion and empathy, respect privacy while encouraging and facilitating group interaction – not something generally covered in medical school.

4. Telehealth technologies: Telehealth can help extend clinicians' knowledge and services to remote locations. Video conferencing capabilities may limit the need for patients to physically visit the physician’s office adding efficiency even for patients who aren’t remote.

What it means to you: You will need physicians and staff who are capable of providing a patient-focused, high customer service experience remotely – who won’t let the technology interfere with a productive patient interaction.

Even without all of these changes, healthcare is just realizing that its approach to talent needs to change. The push to provide value-based, patient-focused care means we need to speed up the change curve in our approach to talent. To learn more about the role of behavioral competencies in meeting today’s healthcare challenges, download our recent Becker’s Hospital Review Executive Briefing:

 healthcare talent strategies

Bryan Warren Bryan Warren is the President of J3 Personica, a consulting, assessment, training, and coaching firm, and a guest blogger for PSI. Bryan is an expert in progressive talent strategies, with a particular focus on leader and physician selection and development.