Paging Critical Care Talent

 -  12/11/10

Health care facilities such as the Lakeland Regional Medical Center have to strategize to attract and retain top talent needed to meet increasing demands for service brought on by economic change and health care reform.

Today’s challenging economic conditions have reduced compensation and insurance coverage for many. That, combined with health care reform measures that provide greater access to care, is driving consumers across the United States to hospital emergency rooms and health care clinics in record rates.

The situation at central Florida’s Lakeland Regional Medical Center mirrors the rest of the nation. Growing numbers of people are heading to hospitals and health care facilities for clinical care, surgeries, medical procedures, lab tests and therapy, which is fueling the need for skilled clinical and non-clinical health care talent to meet the demand for services.

Located midway between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland Regional is a private, nonprofit facility that has served Polk County, Florida’s largest county, and the surrounding community for more than 80 years. The facility operates the busiest emergency room in the state and was the first in the region to offer open-heart procedures, including less-invasive robotic surgery. Lakeland Regional’s cancer program is known for its oncologists and surgeons, but also for its treatment of female reproductive cancers.

Critical Care Requires Top Talent
Lakeland Regional’s human resources department fills more than 1,300 positions annually. The department handles talent acquisition and management facility-wide, with the exception of physicians, who are recruited by an internal physician recruiter.

Lakeland Regional fills a wide range of positions, from nurses, radiologists and lab techs to information technology, marketing, administrative, food service, environmental, financial, claims and patient registration workers. Each time the facility expands or offers new services to serve its growing patient base, the need for the right talent also rises.

According to Jeffery Payne, vice president of human resources for Lakeland Regional, who also has served as president of the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA), “Due to the economic environment in the last 18 to 24 months — where many people are losing jobs or are experiencing wage reductions — our hospital facility is serving more and more patients who don’t have access to personal physicians. And, as more people are seeking access to care due to health legislation, we expect this growth to continue.”

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