Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare in the United States has been challenged. Costs continue to skyrocket (growing at 5.4 percent per year) and are expected to be 20 percent of GDP by 2028. Care delivery costs have outpaced insurance reimbursements: The American Hospital Association believes that U.S. hospitals and health systems will lose close to $200 billion in fiscal year 2020.

 

Market dynamics are competitive. Insurance providers, retail pharmacies and drug store chains, and hundreds of health technology companies are pressuring legacy players to reinvent and reimagine their services. The rise of different forms of care like telemedicine and outpatient surgery centers requires new interaction models. The decades-old move from fee-for-service (which rewards volume) to value-based care (which rewards patient outcomes) is a fundamental transformation that impacts more than financials and billing. The shift also affects the way healthcare providers interact with patients, provide care, and focus on service and satisfaction.

The pandemic: Disruption and transformation in healthcare

The pandemic created a perfect storm for many companies. Highlighting gaps in preparedness, policy, and equity, COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses in our social safety net while showcasing opportunities to pivot and provide different kinds of care. Although healthcare business models have been radically changed by the pandemic, people are at the center of change. Some experts say that as much as two-thirds of what happens to a patient is directly connected to an organization’s management of its human capital – recruitment and selection, staffing models, training and learning, leadership, performance, and rewards. Human resources, as the facilitator of these processes, can play a significant role in outcomes for patients. But that requires new skills, capabilities, mindsets, and ways of working.

 

In a recent study, by Josh Bersin of more than 1,300 organizations globally on pandemic response, it was found that roughly 60 percent of healthcare providers responded well, working together, collaborating on new work practices, and redesigning jobs to address new patient needs. However, only 39 percent of their HR teams moved quickly; when compared with other industries (financial services, telecommunications, energy, and tech), healthcare fell well behind. In an industry that is very risk-averse and safety-conscious, that might not come as a surprise. But to lead their organizations into the future, HR professionals must step up to work differently – faster, with more agility and fewer hierarchical constraints.

 

HR at the center of business transformation

Despite the fact that healthcare is one of the most people centric industries in the economy, many HR departments are behind. With the compliance mindset and risk aversion of the industry comes an orientation toward risk mitigation that is not conducive to facilitating the HR transformation that is needed today.

 

Our research on the HR profession demonstrates that this compliance approach puts HR teams at the lower levels of maturity. Excellence in operational tasks like staffing, training, and administration is necessary but not sufficient for success. Organizations that master the transactional work as well as talent management, employee experience, and business transformation are 3.4 times more likely to grow and twice as likely to be profitable. For healthcare organizations, agile transformation, culture change, and leadership growth are critically important.

 

Download the full article by, Josh Bersin, Global HR Analyst, Founder and Dean of the Josh Bersin Academy and Kathi Enderes, Vice President of Research at the Josh Bersin Academy, to discover what HR leaders from prominent healthcare organizations like, Nebraska Medicine and Altamed are doing to address these challenges and more.

Download the full report