WorkForce Shortage in Grady Healthcare System

Introduction

The healthcare workforce shortage is a major concern and a challenge in most hospitals in the United States of America. There are several attributes affecting healthcare providers, including the forces of demand and supply, the retirement of healthcare practitioners, population growth, insurance coverage expansion, and service providers’ aging. Access to recommendable and quality healthcare services directly depends on the availability of qualified professionals to provide appropriate services. In the Grady Healthcare System, the workforce shortage affects many departments, including the dental hygienist’s department, radiation therapists, radiographers, nurses, pharmacists, and medical technologists, among others. Due to the workforce shortage in Grady Hospital and other health facilities in America, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and other bodies have to find a solution to enhance the service delivery in the healthcare system.

Problem Description

Demographic changes, including the high rate of an aging population and the population growth in general, are critical aspects overwhelming Grady Healthcare System. Several departments within the hospital need immediate attention to handle the increasing number of cases being handled by few professionals. The shortage of healthcare providers in the inpatient department comprising of the emergency units, cardiology sections, intensive care unit, neurology, and oncology is a challenge which requires an immediate solution. The problem of insufficient healthcare providers in some outpatient departments, such as the medical records and radiology section, needs to be addressed while focusing on long-term solutions.

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Most inpatients departments need immediate attention to solve the problem of workforce shortage. For instance, daily managing activities in the intensive care unit (ICU) are challenging and need an appropriate number of professionals. The department leaders and nurses in charge have to make impromptu and sound decisions to save several lives. In case of shortages of doctors and nurses in ICU, chances of critical patients dying escalate rapidly. Problems of workforce shortage other departments within the outpatient section can be handled using long-term approaches since most of the cases do not require urgent attention. For example, the workforce shortage in the radiology section can be handled later since few cases are held within the department.

Financial Implications

Building the inpatient section and hiring qualified doctors and nurses to work in the department is costly and requires many resources. However, the inpatient section’s services are critical and vital in the growth and development of the health institution. For instance, the hospital charges $ 31966 for treating renal failure accompanied by major complications (“Hospital cost compare,” n.d.). Performing such delicate procedures with professionalism enhances the reputation of the hospital and generates revenue for it. Therefore, the shortage of workforce in the inpatient department is a problem which needs to be solved by deploying prompt methodologies. In the outpatient department, for instance, in the radiology section, few healthcare providers can handle all the operations to reduce the cost since they entail producing and observing body images. However, the aspect of workforce shortage in the radiology section can be solved using long-term strategies.

Evaluation of Alternatives

There are several alternatives for solving the challenge of workforce shortage in the healthcare department in America. The following are examples of approaches to increase the number of qualified healthcare providers in American health facilities:

  • Training existing healthcare providers – In order to fill the gap of shortages of healthcare providers in America, some organizations such as the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) can organize training programs to empower the existing medical practitioners. Some nurses can be trained and equipped with skills and knowledge of handling urgent medical issues. It is an appropriate method for facilities with few resources to increase their output without spending too many finances. Hospitals can offer their workers incentives to advance their education level (Wu et al., 2017). Even though the alternative appears expensive, it benefits the hospital in the long run by ensuring quality services are offered. Moreover, Incentives alone can help the hospital to attract talented workers.
  • Partner with the nearest educational facilities – Hospitals can partner with local and national education institutes to increase their chances of having potential skilled employees from them. Furthermore, hospitals can open and allow apprenticeships and internships to cultivate competent and experienced employees for the next generation. However, there is no certainty of qualified interns returning to work in the hospital. Nevertheless, apart from cultivating potential future workers, hospitals creating vacancies for interns and apprentices have the opportunity to monitor the progress and future of the medical industry.
  • Reexamining the recruitment processes – When workforce shortage becomes a serious problem in the medical industry, it might be the right moment to re-evaluate the hiring processes. New medical practitioners do not have to be perfect from the first day they are employed. Most of them get familiar with the new working environment alongside working in place. However, some human resource managers might exclude such applicants because they do not meet all the required qualifications. Solving workforce shortages’ challenges requires the hiring team consider employing potential wrokers having 80 percent of the required credentials. Moreover, hospitals can consider employing applicants having the required skills although with less experience. The risks of hiring unqualified or less qualified employees are high when using the alternative. Nevertheless, diversification of hiring processes can help hospitals get excellent and motivated workers willing to help the organization meet its goals and objectives.
  • Using contingent workers – Hospitals experiencing workforce shortages can consider using the help of freelancers, contractors, consultants, and others. Contingent workers are becoming valuable and incredible in many organizations (Benzinger, 2016). The challenge of over depending on freelancers happens when some are not available when needed for emergencies. Nonetheless, most of them have the expertise and flexibility needed to fill the gap of workforce shortage.

Recommendation

Solving the problem of workforce shortage is a challenging procedure. Grady Healthcare System can adopt the method of re-evaluating its recruitment process when employing new workers. Some new medical practitioners might have less experience needed by the human resource team, but it is appropriate to hire them. Experience can be acquired as the worker assists in medical operations within the hospital. Ethical conduct in the hospital should also be implemented to prevent malpractices such as corruption when employing new healthcare providers. Malpractices scare potential and competent workers from applying for jobs in organizations.

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Methods of Assessing the Success of a Plan

Project evaluation is an important aspect in any organization because it aids in determining if the company is performing according to the stakeholders’ expectations. The following are approaches of measuring the success of a plan:

  • Schedule – A plan’s success is determined by evaluating the time taken to complete the project. An appropriate plan should meet the timeline assigned for the project to be completed.
  • Quality – The plan should ensure the quality of the end product or services of a project. For instance, quality is determined by reviewing if the standards of medical services meet the expected requirements.
  • Cost – Executives of organizations use cost as a major factor when evaluating the success of a plan. The plan should ensure the profit margin of a project is higher than the operating cost.
  • Stakeholder Satisfaction – After the plan has aided the project in generating profits, it is essential to ask the stakeholders to rate the plan on a scale of 1-10. The rating helps in examining the success of a plan depending on the stakeholder satisfaction.

When a plan fails, the following steps are taken to identify the causes and possible way forward:

  • Clarifying the initial goal of the project to identify how close the plan was to accomplish the goal.
  • Clarifying the outcome to determine the progress of the plan up to the point of failure.
  • Identifying what went wrong with the plan and then dividing the list into two categories. The categories entail aspects that can be changed and which cannot be changed.
  • Focus on the aspects which can be changed and initiate a new action plan.

Conclusion

The workforce shortage is a serious problem in the medical industry and other sectors of the economy. At Grady Memorial Hospital, the challenge of having a limited labor force needs both short-term and long-term solutions depending on the department in consideration. Several alternatives should be adopted to solve the workforce shortage. The hospital’s overall success can be measured using many factors such as stakeholder satisfaction using a scale of 1-10. However, if a project’s plan fails, there is always room for a second chance after a critical evaluation of the initial plan. The Healthcare industry is among the most important sectors since it plays a crucial role in developing a nation. Therefore, workforce shortage should be solved using sound approaches in the industry.

References

Benzinger, D. (2016). Organizational socialization tactics and newcomer information seeking in the contingent workforce. Personnel Review, 45(4), 743–763.

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Hospital cost compare | Medical and surgery costs at Grady Memorial. (n.d.). Hospital Cost Compare.

Wu, S., Roychowdhury, I., & Khan, M. (2017). Evaluating the impact of healthcare provider training to improve tuberculosis management: A systematic review of methods and outcome indicators used. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 56, 105–110.

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