Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay

Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay

The healthcare sector continues to move towards models that are performance based. In this regard, human resource managers are required to stay focused on matters pertaining to recruitment, engagement of the workforce, and executive teams. This paper will specifically discuss two of these trends which Human Resource managers need to concentrate on: leadership competencies and compensation and the need for more nurses. These two trends are believed to present unique opportunities and at the same time challenges for human resource personnel who will need to align their recruitment strategies and healthcare staff management accordingly.  Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay.

With the increased focus of healthcare towards value based care, the management and other healthcare practitioners are being challenged to alter their staff and leadership compensation to align with this changes. According to research, there is a tendency for providers to change their compensation structures, basing it on metrics such as patient satisfaction, quality and general performance. A 2014 study by Becker’s Hospital for instance, established possibility of healthcare staff and leader compensation continuing to rise between 2% and 4% percent. In addition, the Healthcare Trends research shows that the rise of modest compensation for healthcare staff and leaders had a significant increase towards the end of 2016. Among the factors behind this need for modest compensation include the need for high quality health service, patient services and the need for more healthcare services (Herman, 2014). This means that healthcare staff will be more comfortable working in an environment where they are remunerated well compared to where their pay is low.


The other trend projected in the healthcare setting is the high demand for registered nurses in hospital settings. According to Collossi (2016), the number of nurses to be hired over the next few years is expected to increase tremendously. Majority of this increase will be particularly in the areas of advanced practice nursing, licensed vocational nurses, and licensed practical nurses.  Among the factors behind the increased demand of RNs include the consistent retiring of current nurses, the requirement for nurses to work fewer hours, and the increased new responsibilities of RNs who are now required to take some physician duties. The implication for this trend for employers is that they need to design recruitment strategies that can attract potential staff while at the same time retaining them at their respective organization. Further, these strategies must be motivational enough to avoid potential turnovers and hence reinforce service provision.

Among the strategies that can be employed by leaders in healthcare setting in attracting and retaining staff is the incorporation of the Goldman Sachs model. Accordingly, the model will enable leaders in this industry to attract and retain staff. The model is premised on the assumption that organizations with top reputation can attract potential recruits than even one which pays more, but with bad reputation (Hoffman and Demos, 2016). Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay. This approach considers reputation to be powerful for two reasons: a highly reputed entity assures potential talents that they will be working alongside other bright minds, thus providing a professional network. It is common for employees to seek and want to work in top tier firms. In this regard, Human Resource leaders need to create a good reputation of their respective firms by creating a conducive work environment for its staff, motivating them and even providing training opportunities.

Considering the high rate of staff turn-over, it becomes important for healthcare organizations to look for means of retaining its employees. This is particularly those with exceptional performance and dedication. According to Dessler (2015), employee retention is one of the most critical factors for the success of any entity including for healthcare. Enhancement of retention can enable an organization to reduce turnover and hence avoid the high cost involved in hiring new employees occasionally.


Collossi, B. (2016). 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RNStaffingReport. NSI Nursing

Solutions, Inc

Dessler, G. (2015). Human Resource Management. (14th ed). Upper Saddle. River, N. J: Pearson

Hoffman, L., and Demos, T. (2016). Goldman Sachs Has a New Model. The Wall Street Journal.

Oct. 31, 2016

Herman, B. (2014). The Great Pay Debate: 5 Hospital Executive Compensation Trends for 2014.

Becker Hospital Review January 28, 2014

This paper addresses the health care system from a global perspective and the importance of human resources management (HRM) in improving overall patient health outcomes and delivery of health care services.


We explored the published literature and collected data through secondary sources.


Various key success factors emerge that clearly affect health care practices and human resources management. This paper will reveal how human resources management is essential to any health care system and how it can improve health care models. Challenges in the health care systems in Canada, the United States of America and various developing countries are examined, with suggestions for ways to overcome these problems through the proper implementation of human resources management practices. Comparing and contrasting selected countries allowed a deeper understanding of the practical and crucial role of human resources management in health care. Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay.


Proper management of human resources is critical in providing a high quality of health care. A refocus on human resources management in health care and more research are needed to develop new policies. Effective human resources management strategies are greatly needed to achieve better outcomes from and access to health care around the world.


Defining human resources in health care

Within many health care systems worldwide, increased attention is being focused on human resources management (HRM). Specifically, human resources are one of three principle health system inputs, with the other two major inputs being physical capital and consumables [1]. Figure ​Figure11 depicts the relationship between health system inputs, budget elements and expenditure categories.

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Figure 1

Relationship between health system inputs, budget elements and expenditure categories. Source: World Health Report 2000 Figure 4.1 pg.75. Figure 1 identifies three principal health system inputs: human resources, physical capital and consumables. It also shows how the financial resources to purchase these inputs are of both a capital investment and a recurrent character. As in other industries, investment decisions in health are critical because they are generally irreversible: they commit large amounts of money to places and activities that are difficult, even impossible, to cancel, close or scale down [1]. Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay.

Human resources, when pertaining to health care, can be defined as the different kinds of clinical and non-clinical staff responsible for public and individual health intervention [1]. As arguably the most important of the health system inputs, the performance and the benefits the system can deliver depend largely upon the knowledge, skills and motivation of those individuals responsible for delivering health services [1].

As well as the balance between the human and physical resources, it is also essential to maintain an appropriate mix between the different types of health promoters and caregivers to ensure the system’s success [1]. Due to their obvious and important differences, it is imperative that human capital is handled and managed very differently from physical capital [1]. The relationship between human resources and health care is very complex, and it merits further examination and study.

Both the number and cost of health care consumables (drugs, prostheses and disposable equipment) are rising astronomically, which in turn can drastically increase the costs of health care. In publicly-funded systems, expenditures in this area can affect the ability to hire and sustain effective practitioners. In both government-funded and employer-paid systems, HRM practices must be developed in order to find the appropriate balance of workforce supply and the ability of those practitioners to practise effectively and efficiently. A practitioner without adequate tools is as inefficient as having the tools without the practitioner.

Key questions and issues pertaining to human resources in health care

When examining health care systems in a global context, many general human resources issues and questions arise. Some of the issues of greatest relevance that will be discussed in further detail include the size, composition and distribution of the health care workforce, workforce training issues, the migration of health workers, the level of economic development in a particular country and sociodemographic, geographical and cultural factors.

The variation of size, distribution and composition within a county’s health care workforce is of great concern. Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay. For example, the number of health workers available in a country is a key indicator of that country’s capacity to provide delivery and interventions [2]. Factors to consider when determining the demand for health services in a particular country include cultural characteristics, sociodemographic characteristics and economic factors [3].

Workforce training is another important issue. It is essential that human resources personnel consider the composition of the health workforce in terms of both skill categories and training levels [2]. New options for the education and in-service training of health care workers are required to ensure that the workforce is aware of and prepared to meet a particular country’s present and future needs [2]. A properly trained and competent workforce is essential to any successful health care system.

The migration of health care workers is an issue that arises when examining global health care systems. Research suggests that the movement of health care professionals closely follows the migration pattern of all professionals in that the internal movement of the workforce to urban areas is common to all countries [2]. Workforce mobility can create additional imbalances that require better workforce planning, attention to issues of pay and other rewards and improved overall management of the workforce [2]. In addition to salary incentives, developing countries use other strategies such as housing, infrastructure and opportunities for job rotation to recruit and retain health professionals [2], since many health workers in developing countries are underpaid, poorly motivated and very dissatisfied [3]. The migration of health workers is an important human resources issue that must be carefully measured and monitored.

Another issue that arises when examining global health care systems is a country’s level of economic development. There is evidence of a significant positive correlation between the level of economic development in a country and its number of human resources for health [3]. Countries with higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita spend more on health care than countries with lower GDP and they tend to have larger health workforces [3]. This is an important factor to consider when examining and attempting to implement solutions to problems in health care systems in developing countries. Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay.

Socio-demographic elements such as age distribution of the population also play a key role in a country’s health care system. An ageing population leads to an increase in demand for health services and health personnel [3]. An ageing population within the health care system itself also has important implications: additional training of younger workers will be required to fill the positions of the large number of health care workers that will be retiring.

It is also essential that cultural and geographical factors be considered when examining global health care systems. Geographical factors such as climate or topography influence the ability to deliver health services; the cultural and political values of a particular nation can also affect the demand and supply of human resources for health [3]. The above are just some of the many issues that must be addressed when examining global health care and human resources that merit further consideration and study.

The impact of human resources on health sector reform

When examining global health care systems, it is both useful and important to explore the impact of human resources on health sector reform. While the specific health care reform process varies by country, some trends can be identified. Three of the main trends include efficiency, equity and quality objectives [3].

Various human resources initiatives have been employed in an attempt to increase efficiency. Outsourcing of services has been used to convert fixed labor expenditures into variable costs as a means of improving efficiency. Contracting-out, performance contracts and internal contracting are also examples of measures employed [3].

Many human resources initiatives for health sector reform also include attempts to increase equity or fairness. Strategies aimed at promoting equity in relation to needs require more systematic planning of health services [3]. Some of these strategies include the introduction of financial protection mechanisms, the targeting of specific needs and groups, and re-deployment services [3]. One of the goals of human resource professionals must be to use these and other measures to increase equity in their countries.

Human resources in health sector reform also seek to improve the quality of services and patients’ satisfaction. Health care quality is generally defined in two ways: technical quality and sociocultural quality. Technical quality refers to the impact that the health services available can have on the health conditions of a population [3]. Sociocultural quality measures the degree of acceptability of services and the ability to satisfy patients’ expectations [3].

Human resource professionals face many obstacles in their attempt to deliver high-quality health care to citizens. Some of these constraints include budgets, lack of congruence between different stakeholders’ values, absenteeism rates, high rates of turnover and low morale of health personnel [3]. Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay.

Better use of the spectrum of health care providers and better coordination of patient services through interdisciplinary teamwork have been recommended as part of health sector reform [4]. Since all health care is ultimately delivered by people, effective human resources management will play a vital role in the success of health sector reform.

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In order to have a more global context, we examined the health care systems of Canada, the United States of America, Germany and various developing countries. The data collection was achieved through secondary sources such as the Canadian Health Coalition, the National Coalition on Health Care and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. We were able to examine the main human resources issues and questions, along with the analysis of the impact of human resources on the health care system, as well as the identification of the trends in health sector reform. These trends include efficiency, equity and quality objectives.

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Health care systems


The Canadian health care system is publicly funded and consists of five general groups: the provincial and territorial governments, the federal government, physicians, nurses and allied health care professionals. The roles of these groups differ in numerous aspects. See Figure ​Figure22 for an overview of the major stakeholders in the Canadian health care system.

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Figure 2

Overview of the major stakeholders in the Canadian health care system. Figure 2 depicts the major stakeholders in the Canadian health care system and how they relate.

Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for managing and delivering health services, including some aspects of prescription care, as well as planning, financing, and evaluating hospital care provision and health care services [5]. For example, British Columbia has shown its commitment to its health care program by implementing an increase in funding of CAD 6.7 million in September 2003, in order to strengthen recruitment, retention and education of nurses province-wide [6]. In May 2003, it was also announced that 30 new seats would be funded to prepared nurse practitioners at the University of British Columbia and at the University of Victoria [6]. Recently the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care announced funding for additional nurse practitioner positions within communities.Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay.  Furthermore, most provinces and territories in Canada have moved the academic entry requirement for registered nurses to the baccalaureate level, while increasing the length of programmes for Licensed Practice Nurses to meet the increasing complexity of patient-care needs. Several provinces and territories have also increased seats in medical schools aimed towards those students wishing to become family physicians [7].

The federal government has other responsibilities, including setting national health care standards and ensuring that standards are enforced by legislative acts such as the Canada Health Act (CHA) [5]. Constitutionally the provinces are responsible for the delivery of health care under the British North America (BNA) Act; the provinces and territories must abide by these standards if they wish to receive federal funding for their health care programs [8]. The federal government also provides direct care to certain groups, including veterans and First Nation’s peoples, through the First Nationals and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB). Another role of the federal government is to ensure disease protection and to promote health issues [5].

The federal government demonstrates its financial commitment to Canada’s human resources in health care by pledging transfer funds to the provinces and direct funding for various areas. For example, in the 2003 Health Care Renewal Accord, the federal government provided provinces and territories with a three-year CAD 1.5 billion Diagnostic/Medical Equipment Fund. This was used to support specialized staff training and equipment that improved access to publicly funded services [6].

The third group – private physicians – is generally not employed by the government, but rather is self-employed and works in a private practice. They deliver publicly-funded care to Canadian citizens. Physicians will negotiate fee schedules for their services with their provincial governments and then submit their claims to the provincial health insurance plan in order to receive their reimbursement [5].

The roles of nurses consist of providing care to individuals, groups, families, communities and populations in a variety of settings. Their roles require strong, consistent and knowledgeable leaders, who inspire others and support professional nursing practice. Leadership is an essential element for high-quality professional practice environments in which nurses can provide high-quality nursing care [9]. Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay.

In most Canadian health care organizations, nurses manage both patient care and patient care units within the organization. Nurses have long been recognized as the mediators between the patient and the health care organization [10]. In care situations, they generally perform a coordinating role for all services needed by patients. They must be able to manage and process nursing data, information and knowledge to support patient care delivery in diverse care-delivery settings [10]. Workplace factors most valued by nurses include autonomy and control over the work environment, ability to initiate and sustain a therapeutic relationship with patients and a collaborative relationship with physicians at the unit level [11].

In addition to doctors and nurses, there are many more professionals involved in the health care process. Allied health care professionals can consist of pharmacists, dietitians, social workers and case managers, just to name a few. While much of the focus is on doctors and nurses, there are numerous issues that affect other health care providers as well, including workplace issues, scopes of practice and the impact of changing ways of delivering services [12]. Furthermore, with health care becoming so technologically advanced, the health care system needs an increasing supply of highly specialized and skilled technicians [12]. Thus we can see the various roles played by these five groups and how they work together to form the Canadian health care system.

Canada differs from other nations such as the United States of America for numerous reasons, one of the most important being the CHA. As previously mentioned, the CHA sets national standards for health care in Canada. The CHA ensures that all Canadian citizens, regardless of their ability to pay, will have access to health care services in Canada. “The aim of the CHA is to ensure that all eligible residents of Canada have reasonable access to insured health services on a prepaid basis, without direct charges at the point of service” [6].


Two of the most significant stipulations of the CHA read: “reasonable access to medically necessary hospital and physician services by insured persons must be unimpeded by financial or other barriers” and “health services may not be withheld on the basis of income, age, health status, or gender” [5]. These two statements identify the notable differences between the Canadian and American health care systems. That is, coverage for the Canadian population is much more extensive.

Furthermore in Canada, there has been a push towards a more collaborative, interdisciplinary team approach to delivering health care; this raises many new issues, one of which will involve successful knowledge transfer within these teams [13]. Effective knowledge management, which includes knowledge transfer, is increasingly being recognized as a crucial aspect of an organization’s basis for long-term, sustainable, competitive advantage [34]. Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay. Even though health care in Canada is largely not for profit, there will still be the need for effective knowledge management practices to be developed and instituted. The introduction of interdisciplinary health teams in Canadian hospitals is a relatively new phenomenon and their connection to the knowledge management policies and agendas of governments and hospital administrations raises important questions about how such teams will work and to what extent they can succeed in dealing with the more difficult aspects of knowledge management, such as the transfer of tacit knowledge. Healthcare Staff Trends and Impact on Human Resource Essay.


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