Seven Strategies to Address the Challenges Facing Healthcare Leaders of Today

Jan 26, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Community

by staff

We’ve seen significant developments in healthcare in the last few years, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this steep increase in cost will be challenging to manage in the long run. Hospitals and other healthcare institutions are in dire need of qualified professionals who can run the operational and business aspects of these organizations.

The swift advancement of technology, political instability, and general public unrest poses several challenges for health care workers.

Here are some of the challenges that the healthcare workers are currently facing:

1. Lack of Protective Gear
Special suits and other associated gear were dispatched to every major healthcare institution, yet the people outnumber it.
The leaders should request additional funds to provide more gear as its absence could increase the spreading of the COVID-19 virus and its variants.

2. Inadequate Salary
Inadequate wages have been a prevalent issue in healthcare. Many healthcare workers believe that the work or excess of work does not justify their salary.
The leaders should divide their assets correctly and make sure that everyone receives an adequate salary since this is a significant cause for employee resignations or transfers.

3. Lack of Advancement Opportunities
Over 50% of the healthcare workers express dissatisfaction with the lack of advancement opportunities and how they make their jobs harder than they have to be.
It is a common observation mostly from doctors but includes nurses who stand at 49% in this case.
Moreover, to create more career advancement opportunities, many healthcare workers switch their expertise areas.
Due to the scope of advancement in management, most of them register for executive masters in healthcare administration degrees to help them land administrative and leadership jobs.
In the survey, many health workers from various institutions were asked if their current place of employment had given them the opportunity of trying out employee development programs.
These include in-house skills training, education reimbursement, and technology training. Only in-house skills training had a significant amount of votes.
There lies the problem. The lack of programs in most institutions often leaves them inefficient and unable to cope with the workload during rough times.
Introducing or reintroducing these programs will ease the burden to an extent.

4. Work Overload
According to a survey, there is a shortage of health professionals in nearly every healthcare institution in the U.S., especially since they are at the front lines battling COVID-19, risking exposure every single day.
At least 40% of the healthcare workers’ response was that they feel overburdened by their jobs. Many of them take additional duties beyond their threshold to cater to all the patients coming in.
Fewer staff members lead to a division of a substantial amount of workload. This pushes the workers to the brink of exhaustion and reduces job satisfaction as well.
Here the solution is to hire specific people for the vacant positions. A thorough understanding of labor markets is the key for hospital administrators.
Recruiting and retaining qualified employees is essential. They must also control the rising labor costs without negatively affecting the business.
When teams are understaffed, leaders must guide their teams effectively through tough times.

5. Technology
The emergence of new technology is bringing many changes to the healthcare industry. They range from specialized equipment to information systems.
As “personalized medicine” becomes more prevalent, healthcare costs and complexity rise. These include electronic patient records, novel drug therapies, new imaging technologies, 3-d printed devices, and robotics.
Apart from being expensive and difficult to implement, they often require highly specialized workers and facilities.
Healthcare leadership must be competent in understanding, assessing, and evaluating these technologies.
They must evaluate and decide which technology they need the most. They have to make intelligent business decisions that help advance their institution without affecting their workers.
Moreover, they have to be leaders fostering adaptation to change by hiring and training the staff because sometimes a particular set of skills is needed to get the desired result.

6. Healthcare Policy
The Affordable Care Act now has an air of uncertainty around it. The ACA has a great deal of influence on insurance markets. As a result of this uncertainty, many healthcare systems and insurance companies are reluctant to expand further.
These industries need a stable ground to carry out their activities and grow. Let’s say a high degree of predictability.
In a mature, stable market, they can predict the populations they can handle and thus easily put an estimate of their expenditures and profits.
With things like health care policy shifting and changing constantly, they either have to exit markets or increase premiums.
Unlike previous generations, the present-day healthcare industry faces considerable uncertainty and skepticism along with a healthy amount of wariness.
They must adapt quickly to the alterations made to the various policies and regulations.

7. Gap in Leadership
The formidable job of managing teams and facilities in a high-stakes industry falls on our leader’s shoulders.
The person on the top must adapt to the increasing expenses, job vacancies, and increasing doubts.
Unfortunately, most healthcare leaders do not have formal leadership training. In addition, their busy schedules don’t allow them to pursue leadership training.
Traditional leadership and professional development programs do not address the unique challenges one faces either.
The healthcare professionals of this generation carry the burden to step up and take leadership positions because leadership skills and training are in short supply and appear to be getting worse.
Learning on the job is complex, and while mistakes are expected, some can impact the health workers and the patients. Sharpening and polishing their skills with an organized approach would better serve everyone.

Many of these challenges seem daunting, and in truth, most of them are. However, healthcare workers will overcome them with proper training and skill growth.
Who knows, sometimes difficult times bring out the best in people. So, let’s hope for the best that after overcoming these challenges, our healthcare system will become more efficient.

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1 Comment

  1. What a GREAT article!! As a former Clinical Laboratory Scientist who practiced laboratory testing in the clinical laboratory for over 40 years, your article certainly hits the mark. I wish the article has a larger audience but at least your readers may read and realize the desperate need for highly skilled, properly paid and quality educated people needed in the healthcare setting. When the pandemic first showed up, I thanked the good Lord that I did not have to deal with the influx of immediate needs for conclusive and properly quality laboratory testing needed in the hospital settings today. I urge your readers to read and send this article to their friends and family to discuss and share.


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