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Top 6 HR Challenges in Healthcare Industry
HR across sectors

Top 6 HR Challenges in Healthcare Industry

Nirvi B
March 20, 2024

A strong healthcare system reflects a country's development level, thus any obstacles in the industry must be solved efficiently. The shortage of healthcare employees, burnout and patient dissatisfaction are all key HR challenges in healthcare industry.

HR in healthcare is more than just typical hiring, onboarding, payroll and firing. People management is an unavoidable element of HR's job, and working in the healthcare industry is no exception.

Ranging from job losses to employee exhaustion, the pandemic had an enormous impact on the healthcare profession. Healthcare HR professionals are bearing the brunt of the pandemic's weight with a slew of staffing, human resource management and growth issues hanging ahead.

These current HR issues in healthcare 2023 must be prioritised in order to manage successful healthcare HR practises. HR leaders in healthcare are thus being pushed to be more strategic, forward-thinking, and tech-savvy.

HR challenges in healthcare industry: Healthcare HR 2023

1. Managing employees and patient dissatisfaction

Nearly 4 in 10 individuals have chosen to skip a doctor's visit due to past negative encounters with healthcare professionals or administrators. From booking appointments to carrying out tests and paying medical bills, patients want services to be hassle-free. Any patient will dislike waiting for long in spite of already scheduling an appointment.

Higher satisfaction levels can thus be achieved by resolving scheduling and management issues. HR professionals must ensure that shifts and schedules are well-planned and organised so that practitioners don’t miss appointments.

A streamlined employee management platform may aid and transform the hospital’s administration process in delivering fulfilling people experiences.

2. Shortage of talent & trickiest recruitment

Talent shortage in the health-care industry can actually mean life or death

HR challenges in the healthcare industry
Image Source: SHRM

The role of human resources in health care is extremely complicated, and it demands some more explanation. For instance, the cost of health-care is sky-rocketing. This cost expenditure impacts the ability to hire and retain good practitioners in publicly-funded (government) systems.

HR strategies thus needs to be applied in a way where both government and private hospitals can find the right balance between labour supply and practitioners’ ability to practise efficiently.

Shocking predictions by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • There will be a total of 1.2 million vacancies for nursing positions by 2023.
  • The number of health care jobs in the United States will expand by 12% between 2018 and 2028, roughly double the predicted rate for all occupations.

3. Welcoming new technology

As the number of patient records, clinical notes and administrative data grows, new methods for storage and management will be necessary. To deal with the growing amount of data, the healthcare industry, too, requires more AI-integrated software applications.

The enhanced database is extremely beneficial to the patients and record keepers, and may help tackle many other HR challenges in healthcare industry. Technology makes information readily available and accessible, making it easier for patients to schedule appointments and maintain track of their visits and treatment history.

4. Battling against employee burnout

Stress is the universal element of a healthcare professional’s job. While stress is normal and sometimes even helpful, the law of diminishing returns applies: whatever perks stress might offer goes in vain if it is lasts too long. The occupational stress that healthcare employees face on a daily basis can easily lead to burnout if left untreated.

Burnout among nurses

The average workday for most people is eight hours long, usually with a lovely midday break. It's fairly uncommon for nurses to perform 12-hour shifts by default, with breaks based on patient needs this can lead to employee burnout. Nursing is likewise a 24-hour profession, with many people working unusual hours and night shifts.

Patients are less likely to recommend a hospital where nurses work more than 13 hours on a regular basis, which comes as no surprise. This suggests that patients are aware that they have received subpar care, even if they are unaware of the underlying cause.

5. Providing adequate training and development

Another key issue among the human resources problems in healthcare industry is workforce training. Any successful health-care system requires a well-trained workforce. For instance, many nurses want to advance their careers by becoming nurse practitioners, doctors, or nursing managers, and they increasingly expect their employers to help them along the way.

So to improve employee engagement and job happiness , HR experts in healthcare must collaborate with practitioners. It can be costly to provide career development opportunities that employees want, but the expenses of hiring and training new employees/replacements are much higher.

Investing in a learning and development management system therefore pays off in the long run, both in terms of employee retention and greater capability.

6. Rise in turnover rates, fall in retention

Among the listed HR challenges in healthcare, one remains high turnover rate in healthcare in comparison to other industries. Here, the growing shortage of healthcare employees is to blame. The HR issues in healthcare in terms of attrition is to create an employee-friendly workplace.

Employees quit organisations most of the time not because they dislike the organisation, but because they dislike their managers. It is thus the HR department's obligation to develop regulations that will limit employee turnover and help to maintain efficient productivity.

The Future HR Issues That Will Impact the Healthcare Industry

In the healthcare field, HR professionals already face pressing issues. But there are additional challenges arising that will have long-lasting effects acrtoss the sector.

1. Safety

Although exposure to infectious disease may seem like the only safety hazard for healthcare professionals, healthcare HR knows better. The CDC highlights a host of other risks these workers face: chemical and physical hazards, workplace stress among a few.

For many, physical safety is threatened on a daily basis. OSHA puts the risk of workplace assaults for healthcare providers, including home health and social service professionals, at four times that of private industry. According to their data, even though less than 20% of workplace injuries occur in the healthcare industry, 50% of assaults are committed against healthcare workers. For the two years between 2011 and 2013, over 70% of 25,000 annual workplace attacks reported occurred in healthcare and social service settings. These workers represent over 10% of the workplace injuries that result in days off the job—compared with 3% of private sector employees.

2. Digitization

In the world of healthcare, it seems that every day brings some new way to improve patient care and increase efficiency. One area where technology has made a significant impact is in the digitization of patient records.

Bar codes are scanned on wrist bands, medicines given and in surgical suites to assure records are accurate and current. For the healthcare professional, digital upgrades are a continuum. New technology is changing the way medicine is administered and staff members must be up-to-date. For HR that will mean training and development, assessment and forecasting: what technology, implemented today, is being used properly, ignored or underutilized? What new tech will change how we administer healthcare in the future?

An ongoing need to assess, develop and prepare for the digital revolution will be needed to keep abreast of all the changes technology will bring.

3. Privacy

As patient information becomes more digitised, privacy and data protection concerns grow more pressing. Regulations governing patient data privacy and security are going to put pressure on healthcare HR workers while also raising worries about mobile and digital technologies. For many, this will necessitate extensive staff training.

Employees, as in other businesses, pose the greatest risk of data leak. According to one study, staff personnel were responsible for 71% of healthcare cybersecurity incidents: 58% were unintentional and 18% were purposeful. The data leaked contained 79% patient information, 37% personal information, and 4% payment data. The average cost per breach of medical records was 69% more than the national average.

Because employees bear the majority of the risk, the majority of which is inadvertent, the requirement for training and awareness will only grow. In any size institution, continuing education for healthcare HR professionals will be required.

HR professionals in many businesses face the pressures of today's economy as well as the uncertainties of future. However, risk to employees and patients must be prioritised in all decision-making and planning processes for professionals in the healthcare business, from the largest institution to the tiniest neighbourhood dentist practise.


1. Can training and development alleviate some HR challenges in healthcare?

A thorough training program brings multiple advantages: increased staff retention, enhanced legal compliance, and improved patient care. Amid staffing shortages and burnout, healthcare organizations must invest in comprehensive training. Regulatory compliance and specialized training for nurses and admins enhance patient care. Employee development plans ensure career growth, facilitated by accessible technology tools with automated alerts for training deadlines.

2. How do HR challenges in healthcare differ from other industries?

  • Regulatory compliance: Healthcare faces stricter regulations, like HIPAA, which demand precise record-keeping and privacy standards.
  • Specialized talent: Healthcare requires personnel with unique skills and extensive education making these professionals a scarce resource.
  • Evolving policies:  Frequent healthcare policy changes necessitate continual HR adaptation.
  • Technological advancements: Rapid shifts in medical technology require HR to ensure staff stays current.
  • Demand for quality: Patient care and safety are paramount, placing pressure on HR to hire and retain top-tier professionals.

3. How does technology play a role in solving HR challenges in healthcare?

Here are a few ways technology specifically addresses HR challenges in healthcare:

  • Healthcare-specific HR software: Implementing HR software designed for healthcare settings, which includes features like credential tracking and compliance management specific to healthcare regulations.
  • Telehealth and telemedicine solution: Utilizing telehealth platforms for remote consultations, reducing the need for on-site staff and expanding healthcare services.
  • E-learning for medical staff: Providing healthcare professionals with e-learning platforms tailored to medical training and continuing education.
  • Electronic Health Records (EHR) integration: Integrating HR systems with EHR platforms to ensure efficient access to employee health records and compliance with healthcare privacy laws.
  • Predictive analytics for patient care staffing: Using predictive analytics to forecast patient care needs, optimizing staffing levels, and reducing understaffing or overstaffing issues.
  • Medical credentialing automation: Automating the credentialing process for healthcare professionals, ensuring compliance with licensing and certification requirements.
  • Remote-work solutions for telehealth and administrative roles: Enabling healthcare administrative staff and telehealth professionals to work remotely through secure, HIPAA-compliant technology.
  • Secure patient data handling: Ensuring robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive patient data and maintaining compliance with healthcare privacy regulations, such as HIPAA.
  • Employee health monitoring: Implementing technology solutions for tracking and managing employee health, especially in healthcare settings with high infection risk.
  • Emergency preparedness tools: Using technology to develop and update emergency response plans, ensuring continuity of care during crises like pandemics or natural disasters.


To offer high-quality health care, effective human resource management is necessary. To design new policies in healthcare, reinvention of HR in healthcare is necessary. Note that software tools have been developed to assist in the alleviation of these HR challenges in healthcare industry.

People management, payroll, HR operations, and more are all streamlined by companies like peopleHum, which work directly with healthcare facilities of all types.

peopleHum may be just what you need to turn your HR department into a well-oiled machine. To learn more about how peopleHum can help you love your job even more, book a free demo session with us today.

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