Report: Addressing Pennsylvania's Health Care Workforce Challenges
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) 2018–2020 strategic plan calls for HAP to work with its members to enhance the health care team talent pool and transform the health care workforce given 21st century health care needs. Given that the hospital industry is a key driver of Pennsylvania’s economy—HAP’s recent economic impact analysis found that, in 2018, hospitals represented 17 percent of Pennsylvania’s GDP and powered more than one out of ten jobs across the Commonwealth—this work is vitally important to the health of our economy and of Pennsylvanians.
In 2018, HAP conducted a survey of hospital human resource directors, about which staff positions members are struggling to hire or retain, including physicians, nurses, advanced practice professionals, therapists, allied health professionals, and other hospital employees. HAP used the data collected from the survey to evaluate members’ current health care workforce issues around recruitment and retention. Findings from the survey informed HAP’s advocacy and program efforts to develop innovative strategies to address the workforce needs of member hospitals and health systems.
HAP convened a task force to guide the development of public policy strategies to support HAP’s goal to assist members to enhance the health care team talent pool and transform the health care workforce. The task force included experts in workforce planning and economics, administrative and clinical leaders, health professional educators, human resource professionals, and five HAP board members who assisted HAP in exploring member hospital workforce needs and developing solutions to address those needs.
After careful review of Pennsylvania’s health care workforce needs, the task force determined a plan of action focusing on four core recommendations:
Evaluating the Health Care Workforce: To address the shortage of practitioners, it is essential to have the best available data to estimate the gap between the current and expected supply, and the actual and future demand for health care practitioners. The nature of these recommendations focus on government action.
Recruitment—Building the Workforce Pipeline: It is essential to increase the size and capacity of the health care workforce in the Commonwealth. These recommendations seek to develop programs and activities to encourage individuals to enter health care fields. These recommendations focus on government action.
Retention Initiatives: Retaining a robust health care workforce is vitally important to maintain access to care and contribute to the Commonwealth’s economic success. These recommendations seek to address Pennsylvania’s health care workforce retention issues related to professional health care delivery with a focus on HAP and/or hospital/health system action.
Transforming the Workforce: Improving access to care by optimizing the skill set of health care practitioners through the use of technology or other practices is critical to make the most of the existing health care workforce. The nature of these recommendations focus on HAP and/or hospital/health system action.
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Topics: State Advocacy, Workforce
Revision Date: 1/27/2020
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