The following article is a HASC Briefs Focus, a feature illuminating hospital operations and offering solutions to challenges facing hospital managers. This week’s feature profiles workforce development boards and what they can do to alleviate the ongoing shortage of nurses and other trained health care professionals.
For questions or comments, contact Teri Hollingsworth, HASC HR and Education Services Vice President (information below).
“Conventional wisdom says that when an organization is struggling to attract labor, it can solve the problem by offering higher wages. More workers will then enter the labor market. Suddenly, the labor shortage will be no more. This line of thinking was often valid in past years. However, today’s workforce shortages in healthcare cannot be solved this easily.
“Today’s shortages are complicated and multi-faceted, with compounding issues that extend across the pipeline-development-through-employment continuum. The key issues include, but are not limited to, worker burnout and fatigue, intense industry competition resulting in rising wages, retirements, insufficient supply of trained individuals in the pipeline, faculty shortages, and lack of clinical training sites. Today’s conditions have created severe and long-term shortages that cannot be solved by a single approach or strategy. Instead, they require innovative solutions — and new alliances and partners.
“This article is intended to introduce hospitals to local workforce development boards, or WDBs for short. These entities are, for the most part, underutilized by hospitals today. This state of affairs is unfortunate because WDBs present hospitals with a golden opportunity for partnerships and problem-solving with an aim of reducing today’s stubborn workforce supply dilemma.”
Briefs Focus was created to promote constructive dialogue on key issues in health care. Building on the many strengths hospitals across California bring to the table, the feature provides solutions aimed at improving operational efficiency, care quality, access, and patient satisfaction.
With questions or suggestions, contact HASC Human Resources and Education Services Vice President Teri Hollingsworth.