Healthcare grapples with flatlining confidence in Q2

Healthcare worker confidence has seen little stride heading into the third quarter, with second quarter figures for the 2013 Randstad Healthcare Employee Confidence Index decreasing one-fifth of a point to 54.3 percent.

Analysts from Harris Interactive, on behalf of Randstad Healthcare, surveyed 188 healthcare workers — from physicians to administrators and other professionals — during the months of March, April and June to glean current occupational satisfaction and comfort levels. Researchers discovered a satisfaction stalemate, a pleasure plateau.

[See also: Employee confidence on the rise in 2013]

"Healthcare workers are in high demand, with the sector experiencing some serious labor shortages. For example, healthcare information technology specialists such as medical coders and healthcare consultants for large IT projects are in high demand within the field due to the implementation of ICD-10. Employers have to find innovative ways to compete for top talent," said Steve McMahan, executive vice president of Randstad US, Professionals, in a prepared statement.

In a separate but relatable report, Wanted Analytics found that over one million jobs were available in the healthcare realm in the month of March, representative of a three percent annual increase in hiring for the sector. In particular, the market for nursing positions has flourished as of late, with ads seeking registered nurses up by 13 percent from last year and job ad presence for critical care nurses up 34 percent from 2012.

"Even with the recent delay of the employer mandate provision of the [Affordable Care Act], many healthcare organizations can't pause due to other time-sensitive, mandated initiatives, such as the implementation of ICD-10 and the rigorous requirements to transition to electronic medical records by 2015. This, coupled with the ongoing issue of trying to augment nurse and physician staffing levels with the coming impact of the ACA, is creating challenging times for most," McMahan elaborated.

[See also: Healthcare workers secure about jobs as economy assurance wanes]

Other important survey results:

  • In the second quarter of 2013, 20 percent of healthcare workers believe more jobs will be available, slipping one percentage point from Q1 2013. More than half of healthcare workers (52 percent) believe fewer job opportunities available, holding steady compared to the previous quarter.
  • In the next 12 months, 30 percent of healthcare workers say they are likely to look for a new job, representing an increase of four percentage points from the previous quarter.
  • More than half of healthcare workers surveyed (54 percent) indicate they are confident they could find a job in the next 12 months, showing no change from the previous quarter.
  • About six-in-10 (61 percent) healthcare workers feel confident in the future of their employer, rising three percentage points from the previous quarter.
  • The number of healthcare workers who say the economy is getting stronger rose four percentage points this quarter to 26 percent. Forty-three percent of healthcare workers believe the economy is weakening, rising two percentage points from the previous quarter.

Find a copy of the report in its entirety here.

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