The most recent data shows unemployment among salaried employees at hospitals is flat-lining at 1.4 percent and turnover in healthcare (measured in quits and separations not related to layoffs) is tracking 20 percent higher than last year.
As a result we are seeing more vacancies in key quality and leadership positions. The challenges with this situation are many. First and foremost, we are living in an era of healthcare when the only true constant is change. And when there is not a full complement of competent managers to lead that change, things can (and do) get messy and expensive quickly. How?
- People in positions adjacent to vacancies get overburdened, stressed, and frustrated.
- Key management initiatives get derailed or put on the back burner.
- Day-to-day tasks and metrics related to quality, safety, and patient satisfaction start to slip.
- Legal and compliance risks begin to dip under organizational tolerances.
Any one of these scenarios could pose challenges to an organization in terms of:
- Lower morale and job satisfaction;
- Additional turnover;
- Legal and compliance issues;
- Sub-optimal quality, safety, and patient satisfaction;
- Lower productivity; and
- Flagging revenues.
So what’s the solution when a regular onboarding process (4-10 weeks) is compounded by a lengthier and more competitive recruiting environment (8-16 weeks, or more) for nonclinical hospital leadership? Let’s do that math again… 26 weeks = half a year. That’s half a YEAR without a mission-focused leader in a key position.
Hospitals are feeling this pain… acutely. But many are turning to another option to avoid the evolution to chronic issues and domino effects: Interim Leadership.
Interim CMOs are ideal in instances where mergers and system-ing make internal candidates too political or territorial to be effective. When change is happening, the months it takes to recruit, move, onboard, and orient an external candidate – it’s months hospitals can’t afford to be without a guiding force.
Interim Quality Directors are an excellent investment when a hospital or system is shifting to a new accreditor or implementing sweeping change to quality metrics. An interim quality leader can also be a uniting force and a voice of reason when medical staffs and clinical systems merge and shift to systems.
An Interim VPs or Directors of Medical Staff Services can bring vital macro thinking during process consolidation and new policy implementation. With the shift in roles and responsibilities in medical staff services, interim leaders can bring the fresh eyes and approaches needed to make change make sense. (Just think of the initiatives: get to paperless, streamline privileging forms, reduce application turnaround time for credentialing, centralize current competency data…)
If we are living in an era of inevitable change in healthcare, why not employ experienced change managers during times of transition? Fill out the form below to start the conversation about interim leadership staffing solutions from Greeley.
Sources of Stats:
- Unemployment in Hospitals: https://beta.bls.gov/dataViewer/view/timeseries/LNU04034242
- Turnover in Healthcare: https://www.bls.gov/jlt/#data
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