Role of HRM in the Healthcare Industry

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Patricia Jankowski

Patricia has a BSChE. She's an experienced registered nurse who has worked in various acute care areas as well as in legal nurse consulting.

In the healthcare industry, human resource departments manage many issues, such as staff recruitment and retention, legal matters, and employee relations. This lesson is about the role of human resource management in healthcare.

What Does HRM Do?

''Human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they're not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.'' This is a quote by Ken Robinson, a British author, educator, and creativity expert.

Here is another by Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha, Nigerian author, educator, and entrepreneur: ''Some people today are wandering generalities instead of meaningful specifics because they have failed to discover and mine the wealth of potentials in them.''

These quotes characterize the role of human resource management, or HRM, in the healthcare industry, one of the world's largest employers. Managing the flow of the healthcare labor force is a tall order that requires creativity, knowledge, insight, and most of all, teamwork.

HRM does a lot more in healthcare than just mail out the open enrollment benefit packets. Many of us may think of them only in that kind of limited role, but the field is much bigger than that. HRM is involved in hiring and firing employees and settling disputes between employees, labor, and management. It's also involved in staff development and education as well as legal matters concerning the facility and any staff hired from overseas.

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  • 0:03 What Does HRM Do?
  • 1:24 Hiring and Firing
  • 2:54 Keeping the Customers…
  • 3:45 Staying Ahead of Legal Issues
  • 5:02 Staff Development and…
  • 5:33 Lesson Summary
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Hiring and Firing

Let's start with hiring and firing in a healthcare facility. This must be done according to legal guidelines and with the well-being and growth of the facility in mind. Hiring must also be done in a timely fashion to prevent the current employees from being overwhelmed by staffing shortages.

Finding the Right Staff

To find staff who will personify the values and goals of the facility, the HR department must conduct good interviews. These interviews must include an accurate job description for the prospective employee so that he or she does not accept the job with false expectations. The interviewer, besides getting information about the employee's education and background, should give him or her some idea of the work culture as well as the benefits offered, the opportunities available for advancement and development, and how the facility management will help the employee deal with the stress inherent in a healthcare environment. It may be a good idea to let the prospective employee walk around on a real unit and meet some of the staff.

Termination of Staff

HRM is also an important player in the termination of staff when this becomes necessary. In general, if there's a problem with an employee, measures for corrective action are taken before there is a firing. However, some infringements may result in immediate termination, such as harassment of one employee by another. If the staff belongs to a union, the contract rules must be followed. In any case, HRM must be aware of and abide by all of the legal aspects of a termination.

Keeping the Customers Satisfied

HRM plays an important role in ensuring that the patients are kept satisfied. This affects the facility's financial health as well as its profile in the community.

HCAHPs Scores

An important indicator of a health care facility's competitiveness is its HCAHPs, or Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, scores. These scores are generated from surveys sent out to patients after discharge. The surveys ask about how well the staff communicated with the patients about their condition and treatment. They also ask about the hospital environment itself. The HRM department helps the facility to get better HCAHPs scores by training its employees in the delivery of good customer service. Often, it will host programs like the Service Excellence programs, which have become popular in hospitals.

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