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May 19, 2015

Protect Your Organization from A Looming Healthcare Provider Shortage

DoctorsWith a growing, aging population, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the demand for physicians, both primary and specialized has intensified.   A 2015 study conducted for the AAMC by IHS Inc., predicts that by the year 2025 the United States will face a healthcare provider shortage of between 46,000-90,000 physicians. There will be shortages in both primary and specialty care, and specialty shortages will be particularly large.

  • Shortage of primary care physicians: 12,500-31,100
  • Shortage of surgeons and specialists: 28,200-63,700 



So what can you do to help minimize the effect the healthcare provider shortage will have on your organization?  Start implementing hiring and retention policies and procedures now!

Hire the right people

When hiring new practitioners, you want to make sure they are licensed, credentialed, and most importantly, a good fit for your organization.  Part of an effective healthcare hiring policy is following a thorough background screening process including:

  • Criminal history (county, state, etc.).
  • Sanction and exclusion screening.
  • Searches of sex offender registries.
  • Verification of licensure.
  • Verification of previous and current employment.
  • Verification of education.
  • Credit checks, when applicable.

Start incorporating more “personality evaluation” assessments to better gauge your hires’ job worthiness and ensure your organization’s cultures align with these new hires—this will help yield longer tenure and higher productivity.  Pre-hire assessments have been used for years, now with 8 of the top 10 employers utilizing such tools.  The automation of the job application process, combined with powerful data tools and inexpensive online software, have led to falling costs, more accurate results and ease of use. A thorough background screening process will be vital in hiring the right people. 

Stay compliant with Technology

An effective healthcare hiring policy demands automated systems that can track a medical professional’s license status and provide alerts regarding testing and continuing education requirements, as well as license renewals. Such tools help keep an organization compliant and help you minimize the risks that result from employee turnover and manually reviewing batch data. A professional background screening company with a credentialing and license monitoring system can help streamline these processes and ensure compliance.

LegislationWhile some states require monthly license monitoring of health care professionals, it’s wise for organizations not in those states to consider a policy that includes quarterly monitoring at a minimum. 

Retain the Right People

Create an environment that attracts the best talent and KEEPS the best talent.  Millions of dollars are lost every year due to professionals looking for greener pastures, and the truth is you have the power to reduce turnover.  The time is now to push policies, programs, and organizational cultures that make your organization a place workers want to stay.

Offer education and training programs to advance their careers with your organization, and tuition benefits are another strong retention incentive.  Modernize training to handle the foreseeable changes coming to the industry.  Utilizing technology and automation to streamline workflows will help workers lighten the daily burden, and better bind them to your organization.

As clichéd as it may sound, employee recognition and support still reigns supreme when it comes to employee retention.  Express genuine gratitude for professional excellence.  In a recent study, nurses stated their workplace satisfaction was directly related to management support and recognition in the workplace. 

Follow these tips to minimize risk and protect your organization from a looming healthcare provider shortage. Utilize the tips now and you will be able to stay ahead of the inevitable, and position yourself, and your organization for success.

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