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The healthcare sector, with its intricate web of patient care, medical procedures, and administrative tasks, is one of the most critical and complex industries in the world.

When we think of healthcare, our minds often drift to the skilled surgeons, the attentive nurses, or the state-of-the-art facilities. However, behind these frontline heroes is a diligent team that helps healthcare institutions run like a well-oiled machine – the Human Resources (HR) department.

This article digs into the essential role of HR management in healthcare and its undeniable impact on patient care, employee satisfaction, and the overall efficiency of healthcare institutions.

6 Roles of human resources management in healthcare

Here are 6 roles of human resources management in healthcare:

1. Employee well-being and satisfaction

Healthcare professionals often work long hours and odd shifts. Such non-traditional hours place emotional and physical demands on staff. Given these challenges, prioritizing their well-being and job satisfaction is a fundamental component of HR management in healthcare.

  • Monitoring work conditions – The work environment inside a hospital or facility plays a major role in the overall well-being of staff. HR has ears on the ground, always open to feedback, and ready to tackle any challenges that might affect the staff's day-to-day operations.
  • Promoting work-life balance Burnout is a real concern in the healthcare industry. A recent study highlighted by the Harvard Gazette reported that 50% of healthcare workers expressed feelings of burnout, with 28.7% looking to leave the field. HR does its best to ensure manageable workloads while prioritizing patient care. 
  • Feedback and open communication – HR is also the main avenue for employees to express grievances, challenges, and suggestions. By fostering healthy, open relationships, human resources can learn a lot about the morale of the staff and how the work culture is being received.

2. Recruitment and staffing

Healthcare is all about people. From the doctors to the nurses to the folks behind the scenes, everyone plays a part. One of the primary responsibilities of HR in healthcare is to ensure that the institution is staffed with qualified, competent, and dedicated professionals.  

Unfortunately, this is no easy task. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. could see an estimated shortage of up to 139,000 physicians by 2033. This highlights the urgency and importance of effective recruitment strategies in the healthcare sector. 

  • Identifying needs – HR teams work closely with medical departments to determine staffing needs, be it for surgeons, nurses, technicians, or administrative staff.
  • Hiring the right talent – Through rigorous screening processes, background checks, and interviews, human resources works to bring only the most suitable candidates on board. 

3. Regulatory compliance

The bureaucratic side of healthcare is as crucial as the clinical side. HR streamlines the process by digitizing the completion and review of essential federal and state compliance forms, such as:

  • I-9 and W-4
  • OSHA Forms –Used for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses, ensuring that healthcare facilities adhere to safety standards.
  • FMLA (Family and medical leave act) forms – These forms are essential for employees seeking leave for specific family and medical reasons.
  • State-specific licensure and certification forms – Depending on the state, healthcare professionals might need to periodically renew licenses or certifications. HR manages these forms to ensure that all professionals are practicing legally and up-to-date with their credentials.
  • Continuing education (CE) documentation – Many healthcare roles require ongoing education. HR oversees the documentation that proves professionals have met their CE requirements.

4. Performance management

In healthcare, there's no room for "good enough." Every role, from the surgeon to the receptionist, needs to be on their A-game. HR collaborates with medical and administrative experts to delineate clear performance standards for each role. 

  • Performance assessments – Periodic evaluations are conducted by HR to measure an individual's performance against the established benchmarks. These assessments incorporate feedback from peers, superiors, and, in certain scenarios, patients to provide a comprehensive view of an employee's performance.
  • Addressing performance discrepancies – In instances where there's a deviation from the set benchmarks, HR, in coordination with relevant supervisors, identifies the underlying issues. Subsequent measures, be it additional training or targeted feedback, are then implemented to realign performance. 

5. Conflict resolution

The intense pace and high stakes of patient care can sometimes be a breeding ground for disagreements and conflicts. Whether it's a difference of opinion on patient care, clashing personalities, or stress-induced misunderstandings, these conflicts can disrupt the smooth functioning of a healthcare facility.

  •  Sets protocols – HR establishes and communicates clear protocols that detail the steps for reporting disagreements, the process that will follow, and the support mechanisms in place.
  • Mediation – Human Resources manages conflict situations by acting as a mediator. They provide a neutral space where individuals can voice their concerns, ensuring that all sides are heard.

6. Compensation and benefits

To attract and retain the best talent, competitive compensation and benefits are crucial. HR may not always have a direct hand in deciding benefits packages, but they can advocate for changes based on industry standards and employee feedback. 

  •  Answering questions – A great benefits package is of little use if employees don't understand it. HR takes on the role of educator, conducting sessions to explain the intricacies of the benefits offered. Whether it's detailing health insurance coverage or explaining the workings of a 401(k) plan, Human Resources works to ensure employees are well informed and can make the most of what's offered.
  •  Administers benefits – The HR department works with different administrative departments to guarantee salaries, bonuses, and other benefits are being disbursed timely and appropriately. 

Case study: A platform-based HR solution for UK social care provider

The UK healthcare system provides many social services that are directed at older residents. This can be supporting living, residential care, and in-person assistance for physical and mental health needs ranging from learning disabilities to simply spending time with clients who might feel lonely. ScienceSoft utilized software integration through SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 to help a UK-based social service provider cultivate a centralized hub.

Project scope

As an expert in SharePoint, our team at ScienceSoft knows how to integrate various Office 365 apps into a centralized intranet. Our goal is to craft a location where corporate life and everyday working activities are easy to access and collaborate on. This will also serve as a learning portal for employee training, personal development, and staff assessment.

Project outcome 

Our SharePoint consultants tailor-made solutions in the cloud, leveraging Office 365 to craft a multipurpose intranet. These solutions included:

  • Training center: The customer’s team members are able to utilize study materials that help them better complete their daily duties. This can be documents, videos, and any other training materials that help with knowledge of particular conditions like diabetes to specific care services through menu planning. We also included an element of HR management for boosting recruitment, employee retention, and similar goals.
  • Personal development center: Progress is a big concern of the customer. They want team members to see how well they progress through learning programs. This cultivates a sense of time and accomplishment. Our SharePoint team used Office 365 Planner for this aspect.
  • Spot checks: Beyond progression, the customer also wanted leadership to monitor employee performance through spot checks. This empowers managers and supervisors to see how well various members document their progression, engage with the material, and proactively address any mistakes or incorrect behavior.
  • Policies: Standard operating procedures are critical to the success of any organization operating in the healthcare sector. We crafted a custom feature that empowers leadership to control how much time every team member spends learning about new policies and integrating them into their daily activities. This included everything from corporate calendars to vacation planning to the latest memos circulating the customer’s organization.
  •  Mobile portal: Strong emphasis was placed on the need for full-featured mobile capabilities for the final product being developed. Our SharePoint team worked closely with the customer to ensure the layout, design, and features matched their current mobile needs.

Project results

After completing all the required customizations, our SharePoint team delivered a fully immersive solution for the client. This intranet empowers employees, managers, and supervisors to boost productivity and training benchmarks that directly result in higher performance – resulting in better patient care and services.

The many hats of human resources

Role of Human Resources Management in healthcare industry, by meticulously curating teams, honing skills, and ensuring everyone's in their prime role, HR directly influences the caliber of patient care. This critical department is also tasked with advocating for staff, resolving conflicts, and helping employees reach their full potential. While our doctors, nurses, and technicians might be on the front lines, it's HR that's quietly steering the ship, making sure everything runs smoothly.

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