Challenges Facing Health and Human Services Organizations

Challenges Facing Health and Human Services Organizations

Important Notice: Don’t forget to reserve your spot for our ‘HR Forecast: What to Expect in 2018‘ webinar for Health and Human Services Organizations on December 14th.

Q: What is one of the biggest challenges facing health and human services organizations this year?

A: Underfunded and neglected technology investment

The health and human services industry has been enduring many fluctuations in the wake of recent healthcare reform and the shifting economic environment. One of the biggest challenges facing these organizations is that technology investment is largely underfunded and neglected. These technological tools are crucial in their ability to adapt quickly to the changing environment.

Many leaders in in this industry see technology and software solutions as an added expense rather than a valuable investment. The fact that technology is a powerful tool can help these organizations achieve their mission and better serve their communities. Information Technology acts as a needed catalyst for change, growth and efficiency.

Health and human services organizations can benefit greatly from technological improvements because of the complexity of their industry. They are consistently being pulled in multiple directions. Between compliance issues, continually changing regulations and fluctuating funding and payor requirements, it is easy for these organizations become distracted from fulfilling their mission.

Recent healthcare reform has generated high demand for EHR/EMR systems. In the wake of that demand, already archaic tools for employees continue to be pushed to the back burner. And yet, leadership wonders why is it so hard to recruit and retain my workforce. In fact, the CEO Challenge 2014 Report reveals that CEOs view talent as one of the most important issues affecting their organization. As workforce dynamics change, younger workers, like the Millenials, are entering the workforce.

This group is disenchanted by paper based application processes, like emailing their resume or faxing. The fax machine is a dinosaur. If the applicant process is cumbersome, long and unengaging, the best candidates don’t even bother applying. The few candidates with tenacity that don’t abandon the application are still left with a bad first impression. Once the onboarding process beings, the new employee could continue to struggle with antiquated processes and systems.

Although new HR technology is not technically required, like EHR/EMR, organizations will need to implement it if they want to attract and maintain top talent. In a recent article published on Josh Bersin, of Bersin by Deloitte, states that, “In 2014, if you aren’t reinvesting in HR, you’ll likely fall behind.” Manual processes like timesheets, appraisals, paycheck and the like will continue to sour the relationship between the employee and the employer.

These organizations continue to struggle with turnover and are left with their turnover rates ranging from 20 to 40% within the group of front line workers tasked with fulfilling the mission and serving the community. Employees crave technology that benefits them, and become overwhelmed when they are not given the tools they need to succeed. They crave socially engaging processes; they crave clicks, not pens and papers. The new workforce is made up of Millenials, the generation that feeds off tools that bring instant-gratification like Facebook and Amazon. Paper, fax machines and pagers are museum relics, not tools of the trade. Fulfill your workforce’s wants and needs, drive employee engagement, attract better talent, retain better talent and watch your productivity and service delivery excel.

This DATIS Blog was written by Erik Marsh, DATIS, on May 21, 2014 and may not be re-posted without permission

Written by Erik Marsh

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