Cutting agency fees and saving on temps made the list of cost-savings initiatives being embraced this year and next by HR professionals in the healthcare industry.
But, in a instance of survey candor, 73% of the respondents in the just released Healthcare HR Initiatives Survey said streamlining their own HR processes is at the top of their list of initiatives for reducing costs.
By comparison, only 42% selected “Reduce reliance on agencies and temps” as one of their initiatives. Far more — 64% — listed planning for the effects of healthcare reform, while 66% listed cutting hiring and onboarding costs.
The Initiatives Survey however, suggests a disconnect of some sort between recruiters and other healthcare HR staff. At the most senior level, 80% of HR VPs and other executives said preparing for healthcare reform is a top HR initiative to reduce costs. By comparison, only 27% of the recruiters participating in the 450 respondent survey said that.
Recruiters do not see this as their top priority, notes the report of the survey, which was conducted jointly by The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Aministration and HealthcareSource.
Explains Emily Miley, a human resources specialist with Bronson Healthcare, “Healthcare reform has been a reality within the HR and recruitment realm for so long that it just isn’t at the forefront of our minds as an initiative because it’s now part of our day to day routine. We are always thinking of how to recruit at a high volume, while keeping costs low.”
In other areas, 80% of the survey participants said improving employee satisfaction is among their HR initiatives to improve patient satisfaction. Creating a culture of employee accountability was cited by 78%.
The biggest challenge to achieving all the initiative said 72% of the survey participants was their sheer number. That clearly related to the next highest response mentioned by 65% of the respondents, which was there isn’t enough time for HR to accomplish projects. Budgets and staffing also made the list, but were mentioned by fewer than half the survey takers.
Most expect to be investing in HR technology to help achieve the various initiatives on their plates. Performance management software was mentioned by 29%; 27% cited social media for recruiting, though it isn’t clear from the survey what exactly that meant.
“When it comes to HR initiatives and healthcare reform, it makes sense that hospitals are preparing by focusing on performance management software,” said Dr. Frederick Morgeson, professor of management and Valade Research Scholar, Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. “A key element of healthcare reform is to focus on the patient experience, which requires a distinctive set of worker behaviors oriented around providing high quality patient service and aligning performance goals with patient-centered care ? things that are further enabled by performance management technology.”