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Human capital and health

If you’re interested in your own health, then you might also be interested in the health of the healthcare industry. Some new data on workplace trends provides an interesting perspective on the state of affairs for healthcare industry employees. And what it means for patients nationwide.

The main finding is that the healthcare industry is suffering from a skills shortage. There is a plethora of data points that indicate hospital staff and other healthcare workers are negatively impacting performance of the companies and organizations they work for. Could this possibly be trickling down into the care and attention you receive as a responsible patient just looking to take ownership of your well-being?

To determine how the shortage of healthcare skills is hurting you, let’s look a little closer at where nurses and hospital technicians are coming up short. The above-referenced survey reveals that the biggest impact on the skills shortage is felt in terms of “soft skills” and “on the job experience.” So what does that mean for you?

While it’s nice to see that there isn’t any shortage of education in the world of healthcare staffing, it does feel like the weaknesses indicated above could be impactful to your patient experience. Although it’s unlikely this skills shortage will put you in danger (since most are properly educated) your quality of care might feel compromised working with less experience practitioners who lack the professional bedside manner you might expect. Make sense?

Going forward, it’s hard to evaluate how this situation will change. With an aging American population and a longer average lifespan, it seems likely that the demand for high quality healthcare workers will remain elevated for years to come. Unfortunately, as hospital administrators continue to struggle at retaining top talent, the skills shortage may remain in place for years to come. On the other hand, it also highlights an opportunity for those interested in health care work who have developed soft skills in interacting with patients, and especially for those with on the job experience.

Another quote from a leading healthcare recruiting executive also reiterates this challenging hiring environment, stating “Human capital is the backbone of the healthcare industry.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize the world of healthcare is facing enormous pressure and that the demand is unlikely to abate. But the implications of exactly what it means for you are still a little less clear.

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