Chapter 4: How do health systems invest in talent?

Hospital CEO survey series

​What can hospital and health system CEOs do now to prepare for the health care workforce of the future? Chapter four in our series explores what executives can do to attract and retain top talent, and drive physician activation.

The changing health care workforce

Hospital and health system CEOs seem to agree that the health care industry workforce is on the brink of transformative change. CEOs need to be ready for what's next. The latest chapter of our hospital CEO series takes a look at the talent changes happening in the health care field. It's clear that as CEOs look to the future of their workforce, they will need new and improved ways to recruit, retain, and engage with their physicians, clinical, and non-clinical staff.

It is no secret that the fundamental business model for the health care industry is changing. To start, the health care system is moving away from a fee-for-service (FSS) model to one that rewards physicians based on value. And, on top of that, hospitals are employing more physicians, nursing staff is aging, margins are tighter, and technologies are altering health care delivery—all of which have a significant impact on future talent needs.

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Preparing for the health care workforce of the future

How can health system CEOs prepare for what may be a dramatically different future? First, CEOs and other health system executives should ask themselves the tough questions to understand how transformative changes will impact their physicians, nurses, administrative leaders, health IT professionals, administrative staff, and others.

For example:

  • How can CEOs deal with increasing pressure on doctors and physicians as they deal with "physician burnout"? What strategies can be implemented to engage physicians and motivate behavior change through physician activation?
  • How can leaders stay in front of the potential shortage and uneven distribution of medical professionals? How can emerging technologies alleviate these pressures?
  • What strategies can CEOs consider to manage talent – especially the millennial generation, many of whom has different preferences than older generations—like data-driven decision making and a focus on work-life balance?

With value-based care expected to greatly influence the way health systems engage with physicians and other talent, CEOs should consider using an evidence-based approach that includes:

  • Activating physicians who are incented under different payment structures to transform the care delivery system
  • Using a variety of approaches to work with and incentivize employed and affiliated physicians
  • Partnering with both employed and affiliated physicians to lower costs and improve quality, patient experience, and staff experience
  • Reimagining the future of work and identifying ways to use technology to augment or automate tasks
  • Recruiting and retaining a workforce that aligns with the health system’s current and future needs
  • Using data, metrics, and reporting to set and monitor performance goals for clinical and nonclinical staff
  • Investing in leadership development and recruiting more talent from outside the industry
  • Cultivating a workforce culture that supports and facilitates consumer empowerment
  • Communicating openly and honestly with employees, affiliates, and associates
  • Forming partnerships to develop innovative staffing ideas

To learn more about how health systems can invest in forward-looking leaders, download the full report.

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"How are we designing the health care delivery system, professions, and jobs to not only attract the brightest and best, but retain the best and brightest?"

—CEO of a large children's hospital

Explore additional chapters from Deloitte's 2017 Survey of US health system CEOs.

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