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The 8 Biggest Human Resource Issues in Healthcare

The 8 Biggest Human Resource Issues in Healthcare

The 8 Biggest Human Resource Issues in Healthcare

Whether you are a major hospital or a local physician’s office, you all share common human resources issues in healthcare. As a healthcare HR professional, you have more at stake than other organizations since what you do and who you hire will affect patient outcomes. How you work and manage staff issues can have far-reaching consequences if you are not managing staff effectively. Here are eight of the most common human resources issues in healthcare.

Competitive Recruitment 

All industries struggle with the recruitment process. However, for you, there is a shrinking talent pool. Competition is fierce when it comes to hiring new graduates while there is also a growing number of people in the industry who are aging towards retirement. This will put further pressure on filling vital roles. Add to this the concern for patient care, and you are fighting an ongoing uphill battle. This requires aggressive background checks, close attention to validating certifications and licenses, and the ability to manage training, recertification, and reinstatement.  

Wage Competition

Remaining competitive in the healthcare industry is difficult as wages rise. This can knock smaller facilities out of the race for recruiting experienced staff. That can limit the number of staff hired, which, in turn, puts strains on the team. And interference with life-work balance can lead to high turnover. The only way to balance a lower wage is to look for other enticements, such as a more flexible scheduling system or more time off, but that can interfere with patient care. 

Increased Turnover 

As a consequence of wage competition in hand with stress, hospital turnover was at 19.1% in 2018. Nursing rates were higher at 17.2%. Numbers also show that 30% of nurses are looking for a new position. There are also fewer nurses entering the field, making it even harder to find replacements. 

Employee Burnout

Healthcare tends to have a more intense feeling of burnout. Although nurses are not the only segment affected, one in three have feelings of regret when it comes to their careers.  

Ongoing Training and Development

In healthcare, there is a high demand for ongoing training, licensure, and development. It can be extremely difficult to remain up to date on the certifications employees currently hold, as well as what certifications are required for each position. Some changes can also be made to what certifications must be attained in each role. 

Technology calls for ongoing demand for upgraded training as well as employee development. There is mandatory training to adhere to compliance requirements, but other things such as sexual harassment in hand with skills gaps also have to be addressed. 


Finding ways to mitigate risk for workplace dangers is highly challenging for healthcare HR professionals. Human resources problems in healthcare often circle around safety issues. From dental offices to hospitals, exposure to infectious disease, chemical and physical hazards, workplace stress, and violence give healthcare workers a longer list of workplace threats to worry about. 

Healthcare workers are also at risk of workplace assaults. This applies to both those working within facilities as well as those who might be involved with home healthcare or social services. According to OSHA, 50% of assaults are committed against healthcare workers


The digital age has introduced a skills gap for many facilities. The replacement of the paper chart with digital patient records, managing patients with barcode wristbands, and the administering of drugs in surgical suites are just some of the digital enhancements designed to improve patient safety, efficiency, and record accuracy. 

These digital upgrades are making it difficult for staff to remain trained and prepared. This adds more to the training roster while also requiring more frequent assessments. Trying to accurately forecast the required technology for the future and how it will change administration is an ongoing challenge. This will continue to grow as the digital revolution becomes even more aggressive. 


This is a growing issue across all industries. However, privacy is even more sensitive in the healthcare setting. Concerns place additional stress on staff who have to learn to safely manage patient information in the digital world. Privacy and data protection must be top of mind as the use of mobile and digital tools becomes commonplace. 

Data breaches lie not only on the shoulders of IT departments but also on the staff accessing and updating information. According to Norcal Group, 71% of healthcare cybersecurity incidents happen due to staff members. 

Finding ways to manage human resources problems in healthcare can actually add to your challenges. However, there are management services and software available that can make things easier. 

About The Author

Kayla is the Marketing Manager at Paypro Corporation overseeing all inbound and outbound marketing and sales efforts. She has 7+ years of experience working within the B2B and SaaS based solutions space and thrives on creating messaging and campaigns that introduce products and services to those who need them most.

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