Improved efficiency, retention targeted by HR

Health care human resource managers' cost-saving efforts are focused on efficiency, employee retention and health care reform, according to survey results from the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration, a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association, and HealthcareSource, a talent management software company. Of the close to 500 HR pros surveyed, 66 percent identified one of their top initiatives as streamlining HR processes and the same number said they were targeting improvement in employee retention rates. Sixty-four percent of the respondents said they were planning for the effects of health care reform.

Health care injury rates among the highest

Health care worker injury rates are among the highest of any profession, according to an article in the October issue of the American Society of Safety Engineers journal Professional Safety. Injury rates in health care are second only to such outdoor professions as commercial loggers and fishermen. Patient handling causes many of the injuries, as do slips and falls, violence and chemical exposure. Workplace injuries cost the industry $13 billion in 2011, and resulted in 2 million lost workdays.

MD burnout may threaten quality

Physicians are increasingly unhappy with their jobs as a result of cumbersome electronic health record systems, in addition to such things as productivity quotas and limitations on time spent with a patient, according to a study conducted by the Rand Corp. on behalf of the American Medical Association. Respondents said they were concerned that EHR technology interferes with face-to-face discussions, requires too much time on clerical work and degrades the accuracy of medical records by encouraging the use of templates, according to a Rand news release. The cumulative pressures associated with workload were described as a "treadmill" and as being "relentless," especially among primary care physicians.