4 healthcare talent management trends to watch from AHA

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To help hospitals and health systems navigate workforce-related challenges, the American Hospital Association has released a snapshot of healthcare talent management trends and strategies.

The report, released in November, provides insights into trends affecting healthcare human resources, as well as workforce insights and information.

For the report, the American Hospital association examined dozens of reports, studies and other data sources from leading organizations and researchers in healthcare.

Four healthcare talent management trends to watch, according to the report:

1. The continued financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Nov. 30 report from healthcare consulting firm Kaufman Hall found that hospitals and health systems saw a second consecutive month of margin declines as labor expenses increased. A separate report conducted by Kaufman Hall for the American Hospital Association also found that median hospital margins could be 11 percent below pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021 because of the higher costs of caring for sicker patients and fewer outpatient visits than before the pandemic. 

2. The future of mental healthcare will not look like it did previously. The American Hospital Association's workforce report noted that the pandemic highlighted the need for greater access to mental health services but also caused healthcare organizations to scale their remote care platforms to improve mental healthcare access. "Moving forward, scientific advancements and understanding of the brain, as well as cultural changes likely will lessen the stigma associated with behavioral health," the report said. "At the same time, increased access to utilization data for behavioral health services combined with the use of artificial intelligence will increase the ability to predict the likelihood of mental illness or addiction and offer preventive measures."

3. Diversity, equity and inclusion as a top priority. Many healthcare organizations are focused on addressing racial healthcare disparities and ensuring they provide equitable services. To reach their diversity, equity and inclusion goals, the American Hospital Association said healthcare organizations must develop effective leadership diversity strategies and ensure that their governing boards, executives and workforce are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, skill sets, thought and abilities.

4. The role widespread telemedicine adoption will play in new care models. Patients have increasingly tried telehealth during the pandemic as they sought to safely receive medical services. In a July 9 report, McKinsey & Co. found that overall telehealth use for office visits and outpatient care in April 2020 was 78 times higher than in February 2020. McKinsey & Co. also estimated that up to $250 billion of U.S. healthcare spending potentially could shift to virtual or virtually enabled care. The American Hospital Association said healthcare organizations will have to analyze and rethink multiple components of care, including workflows, interactions with patients, and educating future clinicians and retraining current ones.

To access the full American Hospital Association report, click here.  

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