Who Will Care For You? WA Hospitals Face a Personnel Crisis by Washington State Hospital Association

Catalogue: Washington State Hospital Association Who Will Care For You? WA Hospitals Face a Personnel Crisis
Catalog: Who Will Care For You? WA Hospitals Face a Personnel Crisis
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front cover photos upper row left to right dan lane mri supervisor university of washington medical center seattle joanne callahan mammography coordinator providence toppenish hospital toppenish dr ben and patient children s hospital and regional medical center seattle heather cochran r.n emergency department harrison memorial hospital bremerton lower row left to right robbi landry r.n pediatrics holy family hospital spokane clara coffman n.a c lincoln hospital davenport melissa christiansen recreational therapist and childlife specialist harborview medical center seattle linda bradley r.n c.d.e cardiac rehabilitation southwest washington medical center vancouver rafael agudo sleep lab technologist harborview medical center seattle back cover photos left to right harrison memorial hospital bremerton melinda farmer r.n and resident vada yount assisted living garden oasis columbia basin hospital ephrata larry lannigan laboratory technician sunnyside community hospital sunnyside w

washington state emergency and operating rooms face a major shortage of registered nurses and other workers who provide highly-skilled care in a recent survey all but one of washington state s hospitals responding reported that compared to a year ago it is more difficult to recruit experienced nurses who can work in emergency rooms and intensive care units.5 surgery nurses are very hard to find and retain.6 many surgery nurses have retired compounding the problem.7 case study bremerton harrison memorial hospital in may 2001 for the first time in over ten years we have diverted critical patients in the south kitsap area to empty beds in tacoma the combination of unexpected high census and vacancies in critical care nursing also caused us to care for critical postoperative surgical patients in our post-anesthesia recovery room the post-anesthesia recovery room is an area where post-operative patients are closely monitored while they emerge from anesthesia patients usually stay there o

are now competing for workers with home health agencies health maintenance organizations pharmaceutical companies and recruitment firms these organizations are often able to offer a better lifestyle higher compensation and less stress case study grand coulee coulee community hospital mike wiltermood chief executive officer of coulee community hospital can count many ways burnout related to the personnel shortage is affecting his staff the shortage is forcing the hospital to ask regular staff to work longer shifts because it can be difficult for agency staff to work on-call the hospital must often respond to emergencies and employee illness without them increasing the burden on regular staff the regular staff is working so much they are often ill which in turn requires other workers to stay on duty longer supervisors have the highest burnout rates because they put pressure on themselves to cover open shifts and have a responsibility to make sure agency nurses are qualified to practice

demographic trends between 1980 and 2000 washington state s population grew by 42 percent.40 the population is projected to grow another 27 percent by 2020 while the increase in washington state s total population will be significant the projected increase in the elderly portion of its population is staggering washington s over65 population grew by 59 percent between 1980 and 2000 it is projected to grow another 93 percent by 2020 persons over 65 are known to require up to twice as many health care resources than those under 65 in addition there are currently 182,000 people in washington over age 80 the state population forecast predicts this number will more than double to 429,000 by 2030 many 65-year-olds are perfectly healthy however this oldest group of our population is particularly significant in consumption of health care resources.41 these demographic trends show that even if the workforce is sustained at current levels not enough health care workers will be available to provid

pharmacists function pharmacists have a wide knowledge of drugs and pharmaceuticals which they use in preparing and dispensing medications for administration to patients in hospitals pharmacists play a critical role in patient safety they monitor medication orders for potential harmful effects on patients and advise physicians on medication choices unfortunately pharmacists are increasingly finding employment outside the hospital setting in drug stores and in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields the role of pharmacists is certain to expand even further it is becoming evident that pharmaceuticals will play a major role in the future of health care treatment more and more conditions and diseases can be effectively treated and managed by medication decreasing the need for surgery and hospitalization nationwide trends indicate the number of prescriptions written and dispensed has increased significantly creating greater demand for pharmacists numbers marc takemoto pharmacist univers


create a state health care workforce commission the state can provide innovative leadership for solving the health care personnel shortage by creating a health care workforce commission the commission should be tasked with developing a state strategic plan for ensuring an adequate supply of health personnel and safeguarding the ability of the delivery system to provide quality accessible health care to the people of our state commission members should represent hospitals physicians long-term care facilities and other health personnel employers professional health care organizations organized labor business education and the legislative and executive branches of state government the goals of the commission should include a complete analysis of and action on many aspects of health care workforce development high priority goals addressed in the commission s strategic plan should include strengthening the capacity of health professions training programs to prepare students to meet the in

there are several successful models in washington state for example hospitals in spokane plan to fund four nursing faculty positions at the intercollegiate center for nursing education which should result in an additional 40 graduates each year other hospitals are doing similar work around the state including kitsap county moses lake pierce county snohomish county and the tri-cities in addition most hospitals support health professions programs by providing scholarships and tuition reimbursement while acting as clinical training sites despite the financial strain of supporting education programs hospitals that participate in these programs often benefit potential workers get to take a trial run in a facility as students they often become comfortable in the setting and want to stay allowing hospital clinical staff opportunities to act as preceptors for students keeps clinicians work interesting many clinicians find a great deal of satisfaction in teaching others about their field worki

harness the power of technology successful efforts at relieving the personnel shortage will focus on increasing the number of workers available to do the job there is also a role for technology in relieving some of the burden on health care providers hospitals must carefully acquire helpful new technology while keeping a watchful eye on cost some hospitals are better positioned both in terms of size and available finances to make use of new technology gayle mcwilliams pharmacy coordinator puget sound behavioral health tacoma working at the phxis machine a new automated way of dispensing pharmaceuticals throughout the facility new technology must be evaluated to ensure that it helps rather than hinders the job of the clinician specifically with respect to the shortage of pharmacists the health resources services administration suggests initial use of technicians automation and technology to relieve the pressure.106 it also suggests development of a uniform prescription benefit card to r


association of washington public hospital districts taya briley r.n j.d washington state hospital association troy hutson r.n j.d 300 elliott avenue west suite 300 seattle wa 98119-4118 fax 206-283-6122 phone 206-281-7211 for more information contact cassie sauer director advocacy network at 206 216-2538 or cassies@wsha.org stat washington hospitals in crisis a campaign to revive the financial health of hospitals

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