A new2022 report from the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) announces that the healthcare staffing shortages experienced by hospitals in both Minnesota, and across the United States, are “nothing short of alarming”.
The report, which annually collects demographic data from MHA member facilities, evaluates 77,128 healthcare workers employed at 97 clinics, hospitals, emergency departments, nursing facilities for older adults, and other health care settings. It encompasses facility types across Minnesota from small rural hospitals to the largest healthcare organizations, reflecting the overall landscape of health systems throughout the state.
Since MHA’s reporting began in 2018, participating members in 2022 reported the highest number of vacant positions recorded thus far, coming in at 9,823 total openings. Compared to the reported vacancy rate in 2021 of only 6%, vacancies dramatically skyrocketed to a rate of about 21% in 2022. That’s an almost 250% increase in job vacancy rates in just one year.
Adequate staffing within any healthcare system is critical for a facility to ensure they are providing quality patient care, and protecting patient safety.
Given that health systems use workforce data to plan ahead for shortages as well as attract and retain a diverse and engaged workforce, the reported vacancy rates, which are only expected to grow more severe moving forward, are startling, to say the least.
The critical healthcare workforce shortage that is currently being experienced in Minnesota is not an issue that is unique to the state, but is rather one example of an ongoing nationwide crisis.
“The staffing shortage in Minnesota is not only reflective of the intense strain on the health systems within the state, but also that of facilities across the country as labor and supply costs rise exponentially”, states the report. “This is creating enormous inflationary increases and adding significant challenges for the health care sector, which is crucial to our quality of life”.
The nationwide PA, NP, physician, and nursing shortage has been caused by a variety of reasons according to the MHA report and multiple others. These include lasting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and changing demographics of the current workforce.
The one glimmer of good news from the report reveals an increase in health systems’ abilities to recruit candidates, having filled gaps between existing jobs and new hires at a 71.43% higher rate than recruitment rates from 2020. However, facilities are struggling to retain these employees, which is another factor contributing to the provider shortage.
High turnover rates not only create disruptive gaps in coverage, but are also extremely costly to health systems due to higher spend on recruitment and training.
The data shows that 25% of staff members who had been at their workplace for less than five years left their roles during the year. 2022 has been the eighth year in a row where this segment of healthcare workers has been the largest source of turnover, leaving health systems stumped on how they can increase retention.
As hospitals and health systems scrutinize over ways to find the right fit for their organization in order to decrease turnover rates, gaps in coverage are inhibiting their ability to provide patients with the care they so desperately need.
While every healthcare organization searches for permanent providers to fill gaps long term, Wellhart has the staffing solution to finding the right candidates for immediate needs, every time. From primary care physicians to specialty nurse staffing, our expansive provider network has the diversity, and sheer numbers needed to fill each individual clients’ unique coverage needs. Wellhart is able to fill coverage gaps quickly and efficiently because every provider goes through an extensive vetting process before prospective candidates are presented to our clients.
Every need, no matter how urgent, large, or small, is prioritized when you choose to staff with Wellhart.
If your healthcare organization is in need of a staffing solution, contact us and get connected with a skilled representative!