(May 20, 2022) – No doubt, the topic of workforce is on the mind of nearly every hospital leader. The past two years have stressed and challenged our current health care workforce and necessitated every hospital leader to explore ways to be more innovative and creative. More than 240,000 Kansans, nearly 12 percent of the state's total workforce, work in health care. This is more than the national average of 10 percent of all U.S. workers employed in health care. In Kansas, hospitals alone employ nearly 100,000 health care professionals, which does not include physician offices and the many other places health care professionals work.
Throughout Kansas and the nation, hospitals and other health care providers are experiencing workforce shortages. These shortages cause considerable strain on the health care system, especially since an aging population is expected to need more health care services in the immediate future, and many of today's health care professionals are nearing retirement age. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the disruption as the recent demand for more health care staff has further amplified the magnitude of the challenge.
Recognizing the current environment and the need to ensure a robust and resilient health care workforce, the Kansas Hospital Association has incorporated several immediate and long-term strategies as part of the 2022-2024 KHA Strategic Plan. Included among the priorities are:
- Promoting hospital and health care careers to younger generations.
- Collaborating with stakeholders to increase health care graduates.
- Developing strategies to recruit and retain physicians and health care employees.
- Providing education and resources to support health career advancement.
- Collaborating with non-traditional partners, such as the AG and the business community, to develop statewide workforce strategies.
If you haven't had the opportunity yet, I encourage you to look through some of the recent workforce resources KHA has highlighted.
KHA recognizes the solution to the current workforce challenges will not be resolved overnight. It will require a multi-faceted approach on the local, state and national level to overcome the immediate and long-term challenges. We would appreciate the opportunity to hear about local initiatives that you are implementing to address the workforce challenges in your community. Please send me your thoughts and ideas on this topic at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!