HealthcareSource and ASHHRA Release Results of 2013 Healthcare HR Initiatives Survey

HealthcareSource(R), the leading provider of talent management solutions for the healthcare industry, and The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA), a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA), today announced key results from their third annual joint Healthcare HR Initiatives Survey. Conducted in July 2013, the 5-question web-based survey was open to all U.S. healthcare HR professionals and healthcare executives. Nearly 500 qualified respondents participated ─ 16% of survey takers are C-level or VPs, 55% are directors or managers and 29% are individual contributors.

When asked what HR initiatives senior leaders and HR professionals plan to implement in order to reduce costs, 66% of survey respondents identified one of their top initiatives as streamlining HR processes, while improving employee retention rates garnered 66% and 64% chose planning for the effects of healthcare reform. The high response to healthcare reform is likely related, in part, to the upcoming health insurance mandate that expands health insurance coverage to all Americans, which means that hospitals will have to provide adequate staffing ratios to care for an increase in patients. In addition, healthcare reform initiatives, such as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, are often focused on employee performance ─ another concern for HR and hospital leaders.

“Certainly the biggest unknown is the influx of those newly covered patients. Since we don’t yet know what the workforce need is to match this, many healthcare organizations’ processes are becoming more streamlined so that they have the flexibility to cover more and more people, while continuing to provide high quality care,” said Stephanie Drake, MBA, Senior Executive Director, AHA Professional Services. “In addition, a lot of healthcare reform, like the HCAHPS survey, is centered on incentives to improve employee performance.”

Compared to last year’s survey data, 10% more of the survey respondents claim that they are planning for the effects of healthcare reform in an attempt to reduce costs. According to Drake, “Now more than ever, healthcare HR teams and senior leaders must ensure that they have the flexibility and adaptability to prepare for these new healthcare reform initiatives.”

The highest responses of those who believe preparing for healthcare reform is a top HR initiative to reduce costs comes from C-level executives ─ 80%, followed by 64% of directors and managers, and 56% percent of individual contributors, such as HR generalists.

While senior leaders, directors and some managers see this as a top priority, within the individual contributor data, only 27% of recruiters believe that one of their top initiatives is to prepare for the effects of healthcare reform in order to reduce costs. The variance in the data suggests that senior leaders believe healthcare reform preparation is a top HR initiative but recruiters do not see this as their top priority.

However, many talent acquisition professionals are already aligning healthcare reform with their recruitment initiatives.

“Healthcare reform has been a reality within the HR and recruitment realm for so long that it just isn’t at the forefront of our minds as an initiative because it’s now part of our day to day routine. We are always thinking of how to recruit at a high volume, while keeping costs low.” said Emily Miley, Human Resources Specialist, Bronson Healthcare. “We have also been keenly aware of HCAHPS for some time, and it’s now engrained in our recruitment process. The recruitment strategies we have in place, such as using behavioral assessments, were developed to hire the best employees so that they can provide the best patient care, which ties back to making sure our HCAHPS scores are high.”

While talent acquisition teams might be ahead of the pack when it comes to healthcare reform, survey data reveals that performance and learning teams are now catching up. The HR Initiatives results suggest that these healthcare organizations are striving to become more sophisticated in their use of technology by implementing performance management and learning management software, along with e-Learning content.

When HR professionals and senior leaders were asked what new technology they plan to adopt in 2013/2014 to achieve their HR initiatives, 38% responded learning management systems and e-Learning content, which marks a 10% increase since 2012.

“Today’s HR and learning teams have to do more with less. Healthcare reform translates to another version of smaller budgets, no new staffing and even cutbacks, but the need for learning and talent development is more important now than ever before,” says Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer, Brandon Hall Group. “HR teams have to focus their approach and take their cost-savings steps through technological enablement and by driving learning initiatives. It takes a village to raise an employee.”

Another top technology initiative that 29% of HR professionals and senior leaders are planning within the next year is implementing performance management software, which marks a 5% increase since 2012.

“When it comes to HR initiatives and healthcare reform, it makes sense that hospitals are preparing by focusing on performance management software,” said Dr. Frederick Morgeson, Professor of Management and Valade Research Scholar, Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. “A key element of healthcare reform is to focus on the patient experience, which requires a distinctive set of worker behaviors oriented around providing high quality patient service and aligning performance goals with patient-centered care ─ things that are further enabled by performance management technology.”

The survey results also reveal that C-level executives in particular are considering these talent management solutions as a top initiative ─ 53% of C-level executives plan to implement learning management software and e-Learning content, and 29% plan to implement performance management software within the next year. Therefore, it’s highly likely that as senior leaders continue to prepare for healthcare reform, employee performance and development initiatives will be top HR initiatives for years to come.

About HealthcareSource
With more than 2,000 healthcare clients, HealthcareSource is the leading provider of talent management software for the healthcare industry. The HealthcareSource Suite helps healthcare organizations acquire, develop and retain the best workforce possible in order to reduce costs and improve patient satisfaction and safety. The company’s talent management solutions include candidate sourcing, applicant tracking, reference checking, behavioral assessments, onboarding, performance management, learning management and e-Learning courseware. Focused exclusively on the healthcare industry, HealthcareSource consistently earns high marks for client satisfaction and retention. KLAS Research recently named HealthcareSource a category leader for Talent Management for the third consecutive year, in addition to being recognized in the Healthcare Informatics Top 100 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500. To learn more about the benefits of automated talent management visit:, call 800.869.5200, or email:

Founded in 1964, ASHHRA is a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and has more than 3400 members nationwide. It leads the way for members to become more effective, valued, and credible leaders in health care human resources. As the foremost authority in health care human resources, it provides timely and critical support through research, learning and knowledge sharing, professional development, products and resources, and provides opportunities for networking and collaboration. For more information about ASHHRA, visit