Turnover for hospital pharmacists, technologists, therapists and educational training positions topped 20% in 2001, about five percentage points higher than the average attrition rate for all hospital workers, according to a study by DBM, New York.
The study, based on 2001 data from 44 medical-surgical hospitals in the U.S., underscores a continuing concern in the healthcare industry. "The projected workforce shortage, combined with an increased demand for healthcare services, is already at a crisis level," study author Joan Luciano said. "Hospitals are beginning to implement retention strategies, but this will be an ongoing priority."
Among the key findings:* Attrition for male and female hospital employees was similar in 2001 at rates of 15.2% and 14.6%, respectively * The southeast showed the highest attrition in 2001 at 28.2% for men and 24.3% for women * Attrition was lowest in the Great Lakes region at 11.7% for men and 10.5% for women.
In a separate study last year by the University of Pennsylvania, one in four nurses said they intended to quit within the next year.
DBM's "Hospital Attrition Benchmark Study 2002" discussed several retention strategies considered effective at reducing turnover. The most common strategies included tuition reimbursement and employee recognition programs. Among the most effective: pay hikes and other incentives.
"An effective retention program depends upon knowing not only how many employees leave an organization but also on the reasons why they leave," according to the report. "Once the reasons are defined and clarified, a hospital can then begin to implement retention strategies that are targeted appropriately. Understanding the real reason people leave takes a systematic, comprehensive and objective approach."
The full benchmark study is being sold by DBM's Retention Services Practice for $550. More information on purchasing it is available at www.dbm.com.
Editor's note: News of the Day contains a related story on physician recruitment issues headlined "Docs' happiness reflects specialty, location: study."