More than planning for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and even more than cutting hiring and onboarding costs, including that perennial cost-cutting favorite, temp staffing, 73 percent of HR professionals put streamlining HR processes at the top of the list.
The Healthcare HR Initiatives Survey, however, suggests a disconnect of some sort between recruiters and other healthcare HR staff. At the most senior level, 80 percent of HR VPs and other executives said preparing for healthcare reform is a top HR initiative to reduce costs. By comparison, only 27 percent of the recruiters participating in the 450-respondent survey said that.
Recruiters do not see this as their top priority, notes the report on 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 percent 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 percent.
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The biggest challenge to achieving all the initiatives, said 72 percent of the survey participants, was their sheer number. That clearly related to the next highest response mentioned by 65 percent 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 percent; 27 percent 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.”