Workforce resiliency among top growth strategies for health system CEOs, survey finds

Workforce resiliency and digital transformation were top growth strategies identified by health system CEOs in a study from the University of Colorado Denver and Guidehouse (formerly Navigant), a specialized, global professional services firm. 

The study surveyed 133 health system CEOs in 2022 about their plans to plan to grow their business lines outside the hospital or in the home. Health system sizes varied from one to 50 hospitals, and from nearly 280 to 60,000 employees.

"This survey attracted a wide array of leadership participation, pointing to critical barriers facing health systems in an increasingly volatile environment," David Burik, partner and leader of the Guidehouse Center for Health Insights, said in an April 14 news release. "Though it's no surprise the analysis confirmed that staff availability is the primary limitation for growth, it is encouraging to see the creative steps leaders are taking to implement change by prioritizing caregiver and consumer satisfaction."

Ninety percent of CEOs said they are upskilling and retraining employees to address workforce shortages, recruit top talent and improve patient care. Eighty-seven percent said they are hiring a broader mix of skills to upgrade the care experience, and 79 percent said they are seeking more diversity and inclusiveness.

CEOs also cited the ability to keep up with technology as a top concern, with 80 percent seeing digital health as a disruptor. Seventy-two percent cited virtual care as the most important service to achieve overall growth this year.

"Digital technologies are powering value-based care as well as improving the workflows and processes that support this paradigm shift," study co-author Rulon Stacey, PhD, director of programs in health administration at CU Denver and a partner at Guidehouse, said in the release. "Pacing consumer expectations — not chasing them — is everything."

Although the study showed CEOs are using digital health technologies to improve access and affordability, mobile technologies for engagement, and data mining and analysis to strengthen patient care, 90 percent of CEOs also cited cybersecurity-related technologies as essential to precision-driven care. 

Also pressing for CEOs was fiscal solvency (82 percent). Survey respondents said improving strategic partnerships is key to improving care while reducing costs. 

Download the full study here

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