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Investing in Frontline Healthcare Workers

healcare workerThis guest post is written by  Fred Dedrick, Executive Director, National Fund for Workforce Solutions.  The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a growing national partnership of employers, workers, communities and philanthropy that strengthens local economies by implementing demand-driven strategies that create talent supply chains, advance workers into family-supporting careers, and improve workforce development systems.  Read on to learn more about their healthcare initiatives.  

Flux, transformation, and growth. Three adjectives that explain the state of American healthcare delivery. Facing raising patient expectations, plateauing resources, ACA implementation, shifting demographics, workforce shortages, and a host of other factors are leading health care organizations across the United States into a constant state of transformation and change. While some are growing through unprecedented mergers, others are striving to become more efficient, effective, and flexible.

By making strategic investments in their workforce, America’s healthcare providers are striving to do more with less. Specifically, many are investing in the skills and careers of their frontline workers. Ranging from patient transporters to medical coders to medical assistants, this frontline workforce often deals directly and regularly with patients thereby making a tremendous impact on a patient’s quality of care and experience. Efforts to train and empower this workforce are diverse and designed to meet unique factors to each provider and community, but the trend is happening across the United States, across the health care continuum, and among all types of organizations.

Big and small, providers serious about raising outcomes are advancing their successes by investing in their frontline workers. Programs like Cleveland Clinic’s “My Career Plan” and onsite training helped more than 1,500 employees develop new skills directly related to their work in 2014. In addition, organizational cultures at organizations like East Boston Neighborhood Health Center are encouraging all frontline employees—regardless of standing, occupation, or skill level—to build successful careers by developing high-demand skills.

To record and support this transformational approach to healthcare delivery, CareerSTAT, a national partnership of healthcare representatives investing in frontline workers, has started recognizing Frontline Health Care Worker Champions to monitor, record, and acknowledge employers leading in frontline worker development. The national initiative is accepting applications until March 4, 2016 for 2016 Frontline Health Care Worker Champions so if you know of an organization that is working to support the career development of their frontline staff, encourage them to apply for national recognition today.

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