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While human resource, or HR, managers don’t directly work with patients clinically, the decisions they make and actions they take directly affect the quality of care patients receive in the hospital. In a hospital, HR managers are responsible for both the clinical and non-clinical staff that delivers direct services to patients. Subsequently, the performance of the hospital rests solely with the level of performance provided by the staff.
Maintain a Budget and Profits
As part of the overall consideration HR places on hiring and promoting clinical and support staff, they also must be loyal to the organization. The hospital relies on the prudent use of financial resources on the part of HR to meet its obligations to the patients and the community, but also relies on HR to keep the profits of stockholders and owners in the forefront. Human resource managers may believe an ER needs additional nursing staff, for example, but hiring may require HR to dip into reserves or reduce the number of doctors working there. Decisions such as these are made within the parameters and framework of the overall hospital budget.
Keep Staff Levels Appropriate to the Need
It’s up to the HR manager to ensure each department and floor in the hospital is sufficiently staffed. With revolving patient counts, it can be a very difficult proposition. HR managers rely on reports from department heads, historical counts according to seasonal changes, as well as current patient needs. Absenteeism then plays a role in day-to-day staffing needs, placing additional pressure on HR to find immediate replacements and maintain open relationships with medical staffing agencies and PRN, or on-call staffers.
Ensure Training and Credentials are Updated
It’s up to the human resource manager and the HR department to keep up with the license renewal times of staff members. For example, nurses, doctors, radiologists and mental health professionals who hold state licenses must meet certain continuing education requirements to renew their certifications. While HR maintains files on credential renewal updates, the manager also arranges for in-house training and opportunities for staff members to earn continuing education credits while on the job, thus reducing the need to cover for personnel. It’s also a perk often offered by hospitals to professional staff members to attract talented personnel.
Serve the Various Staff Needs
Everything from insurance coverage for a new baby to a grievance against a director of nursing goes through the human resource manager’s office. The HR manager and her team take care of the benefits for employees and monitors employee performance evaluations. HR tracks employee requests for vacation and extended leave and must ensure those positions are adequately covered when the primary job-holder is gone. A hospital, unlike an office or factory, can’t operate effectively when key staff members are not there. Additionally, hospitals run on 24-hour schedules, making the job of the HR manager even more demanding.
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Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."