Mayo Clinic Shortage - Capstone Project - Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations example

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Mayo Clinic Shortage - Capstone Project - Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations

Recommendations / Alternatives

The interviews conducted with Mayo Clinic employees allowed determining possible solutions to clinical workforce shortages and developing short-term and long-term strategies to mitigate the problem. The interview participants expressed belief that the possible solutions to the research problem suitable for Mayo Clinic are the following:

Alternative / Solution #1: Encourage Older Employees to Postpone Their Retirement

Employee aging is outlined in the analyzed literature as one of the major reasons of workforce shortages in healthcare settings. The problem is particularly acute among nursing personnel, as Uthaman et al. (2016) determined that 30-40% of working nurses in such countries, as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States are over the age of 50. It is an important issue, since, on the one hand, the occupation is physically and mentally demanding for older employees and, on the other hand, nursing field is not attractive for youth. As a consequence of employee aging, more and more clinicians are approaching their retirement age, and it is challenging for healthcare organizations to find replacement for retirees considering evident gap between demand and supply of workforce in the healthcare industry. Dewa et al. (2014) add that early retirement decisions made by clinicians under the influence of job dissatisfaction and professional burnout contribute to the problem of clinical staff shortages combined with employee aging issue.

Discovering demographic characteristics of Mayo Clinic employees, it is necessary to point out that 32% of workforce of the organization are aged between 53 and 71, and nearly 1% of employees are older than 71 (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Interviews conducted with the clinic’s employees confirm that employee aging is a serious issue in the establishment, while nearly one third of clinicians are approaching their retirement. Thus, one of the proposed strategies to mitigate staff shortages in short-term perspective is to encourage older employees to postpone their retirement. The alternative found during primary research corresponds to the solution outlined by Uthaman et al. (2016) that implied adopting age-friendly initiatives to promote employee retention, such as workload reduction, flexible scheduling, reassignment to less physically demanding positions, access to learning and professional development opportunities, and higher level of autonomy.

Alternative / Solution #2: Temporary Personnel Employment

Temporary personnel employment is the second alternative proposed to Mayo Clinic as a solution to mitigate staff shortages. The solution is suitable in short-term perspective to ensure constant service capacity of the clinic and avoid work overload and burnout among Mayo Clinic employees that may be induced by understaffing. Temporary personnel in healthcare is also known as locum tenens segment. The segment is fast-growing and developing as a response to acute staff shortages evident in the industry. For instance, according to Staff Care, Inc. (2015) report, 91% of healthcare managers reported they employed locum tenens clinicians in 2014. Development of locum tenens segment enhances mobility of healthcare workforce making it easier to temporarily fill certain positions when the organization …

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