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Workforce Resiliency, Recruiting Key Areas of Focus for Healthcare CEOs

Analysis  |  By Jasmyne Ray  
   May 18, 2022

90% of systems surveyed said they plan to focus on reskilling and upskilling current employees.

The University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) recently released its second Health Systems' Climate Study with Guidepost, which shows systems putting more effort into strengthening their workforce and recruiting efforts.

Over 130 health systems CEOs participated in the study which provides a closer look at current industry trends. While all systems expressed hopes of expanding services by 20%, workforce resiliency and recruiting talent may hinder their progress.

According to the survey, 90% of the CEOs said they'd be focusing on reskilling and upskilling current employees to address these issues. 87% of the CEOs said are focusing on hiring a broad range of talent, with 84% agreeing that improving diversity improves the system's brand, reputation, and consumer satisfaction.

"We want people who have differing ideas, experiences, and opinions because we need to grow and accelerate our thinking to achieve what is best for our community," Ashley Vertuno, FACHE, CEO of HCA Florida JFK North Hospital, said in a statement. "Diversity and inclusion will make us more competitive in the marketplace, but, more importantly, it will help us align with and live up to our mission."

Strategic partnerships like those with supply chain and logistics organizations, consultancies, and even academic systems were also revealed to be a critical to system's post-COVID growth. 13% of CEOs have increased interest in pursuing new partnerships and alliances in 2022.

Digital transformation

The pandemic's impact on health systems over the last few years was noted, with 82% of CEOs having financial concerns and struggling to keep up with the rapidly growing telehealth market. Compared to 2021, the number of CEOs who see telehealth as a disruptor has grown by 22%.

To combat this trend, many systems are considering digital transformation, with an emphasis on virtual care being the most important growth strategy for 2022.

"Digital technologies are powering value-based care as well as improving the workflows and processes that support this paradigm shift," Rulon Stacey, PhD, and director of Programs in Health Administration at CU Denver, said in a statement. "Pacing consumer expectations – not chasing them – is everything."

While remote and telehealth service options increase patient's access to care and are sometimes more affordable, they're not without their risks. Cyberattacks such as data breaches and ransomware can access sensitive patient information and even prevent staff from accessing it themselves. The study suggests that systems should have a cybersecurity infrastructure in place.

Taking action

Jiban Khuntia, PhD, associate professor and director of the Health Administration Research Consortium at the Business School at CU Denver shared three things hospital and health system executives should adopt if they have not done so already

  1. Engage with consumers
  2. Treat your workforce like you treat your patients, and have a plan to achieve a diverse workplace through proactive recruitment strategies and employee relationships
  3. Use innovative digital strategies across the organization

“Pacing consumer expectations – not chasing them – is everything.”


While health systems are hopeful for growth in 2022, talent recruitment and retention are one of the main concerns for CEOs.

CEOs are channeling growth efforts into technology to compete with the rapid rise of telehealth during the pandemic.

The rise of strategic partnerships allows systems to expand their services and capabilities and combine and share resources with partners, which will alleviate financial strain in the post-COVID economy.

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