Q1: Climbing Confidence for Healthcare Workers

  • jobs & the economy
  • April 30, 2014
U.S. healthcare workers’ confidence levels rebounded this quarter, rising 2.9 points to 58.0, according to the Randstad Healthcare Employee Confidence Index. Furthermore, overall confidence levels remain high, including workers’ job security, their outlook on the availability of jobs and in their ability to find new jobs. 
 
Job security, in particular, is very high among healthcare workers, with nearly three-quarters (72%) remaining confident they will not lose their jobs in the next 12 months. This sentiment is likely to continue, given several macro-level changes resulting from healthcare reform, including the start of federal payments to hospitals being tied to patient satisfaction and experience. Hospitals and healthcare systems will be dependent on sufficient staff-to-patient ratios to ensure quality care is delivered, making retention of existing healthcare professionals crucial.



Workplace Trends
According to a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, hospitals with higher nurse staffing levels may have lower odds of being penalized for readmissions. As mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), hospitals that have excessive 30-day readmissions for Medicare patients admitted for heart attacks, heart failure or pneumonia will be penalized by reduced reimbursement. The research found that hospitals with higher nurse staffing levels lowered their odds of being penalized by 25 percent compared to similar hospitals with lower staffing levels. 

When it comes to confidence in finding a job, more than six-in-10 healthcare workers (61%) believe they could find a job in the next 12 months – a belief strongly supported by current labor market dynamics. As quoted in a recent article in The Heritage Foundation titled “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Health Care Workforce,” of the estimated 2.8 million registered nurses and the 985,375 physicians currently working, one-third will retire in the next decade. Workforce projections anticipate a critical shortage of physicians and registered nurses within that same timeframe. 

From the Desk of Steve McMahan, President of Randstad Healthcare
“Human capital is the backbone of the healthcare industry, and is arguably even more crucial in the post-healthcare reform environment.”
One surprising finding of the Randstad Healthcare Employee Confidence Index this quarter was healthcare workers’ assessment of job availability. Kicking off the year, nearly half (48%) of those healthcare workers surveyed believe fewer jobs are available. However, even beyond the overall shortage of healthcare workers today, healthcare reform is likely to generate even more job openings. For instance, the Affordable Care Act is estimated to generate 190 million hours of paperwork annually for businesses and the healthcare industry. Complying with requirements to report quality measures and patient outcome data will require hiring additional staff and investing in infrastructure to oversee the process. 

The ability to deliver quality healthcare is quite simply labor intensive. As a result, recruiting and retaining a skilled, sufficient workforce is critical to ensuring positive patient experiences and outcomes. The opportunities for healthcare workers are growing, a trend that is reflected in the rising confidence levels found in our study. 

A Closer Look at the Findings: 





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Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad Healthcare from January 6-8, February 3-5 and March 3-5, 2014 among 3,210 adults ages 18 and older, of which 158 are employed in healthcare, which included physicians, healthcare administrators and other healthcare professionals. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact lesly.cardec@randstadusa.com.

About the Randstad Healthcare Employment Report
This quarterly Randstad Healthcare Employment Report provides a snapshot of the latest workforce trends among healthcare professionals across the country. Three key indices are measured: the Healthcare Job Security Index, which captures how likely respondents think it is that they will lose their job or that their job will be eliminated in the next 12 months; the Healthcare Job Transition Index, which captures how likely respondents are to look for a new job in the next 12 months; and the Employee Confidence Index that measures employees’ overall confidence in the economy, their employer and their ability to find other employment.

The Employee Confidence Index is calculated from the results of four components that reflect these aspects of employee confidence. For each component item a ‘score’ is calculated by taking the difference of the percentage of positive responses and the percentage of negative responses. These four scores are then averaged to indicate an overall level of employee confidence and is then scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.

The Employee Confidence Index is calculated from the results of four components that reflect these aspects of employee confidence. For each component item a ‘score’ is calculated by taking the difference of the percentage of positive responses and the percentage of negative responses. These four scores are then averaged to indicate an overall level of employee confidence and is then scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.


About Randstad Healthcare
Randstad Healthcare is one of the largest healthcare staffing firms in the U.S. and offers market leading, all-inclusive healthcare staffing solutions. Randstad Healthcare has been matching healthcare professionals with career opportunities at America’s top healthcare facilities for over 25 years. From large hospital systems and rural medical centers, to physician groups, insurance companies, clinics and Fortune 500 companies, Randstad Healthcare offers full-service staffing capabilities, including physicians, nurses, advanced practice, case management, allied health and vendor managed services. 

For more information, please visit www.randstadhealthcare.com.