Two organizations have partnered to offer education and coaching to build a stronger healthcare workforce.
Healthcare staffing shortages have been looming for years, well before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic certainly exacerbated experts' concerns that the demand for healthcare workers would continue to rise. Many healthcare providers have fallen victim to burnout, and an aging population and lack of nursing faculty have contributed to the staff shortages.
Sixty percent of the entire healthcare workforce is comprised of more than 5 million allied healthcare professionals—health professionals who are distinct from medicine and nursing and often work with doctors to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. They focus on prevention and recovery. Demand for credentialed allied healthcare workers is expected to increase to 2.3 million by 2025.
To counteract this health crisis, the Education Fund and InsideTrack have worked for more than three years to close the growing workforce gap with an employee coaching and benefits program. The Education Fund is a partnership of 20 healthcare employers and six unions offering education and training benefits, while InsideTrack offers personalized, one-on-one executive-style coaching and has supported more than 2.6 million learners since 2001. Through the program, they have helped allied health workers develop new skills, complete training programs, and receive one-on-one coaching. The program has proven successful, yielding higher wages and reduced turnover.
"At a time when talent is in critically short supply, investing in the education, development, and success of our people is essential for ensuring the quality of patient care and building a highly-skilled, highly-qualified, and engaged healthcare workforce," says Education Fund Executive Director Rebecca Hanson.
Between September 2020 and December 2021, more than 2,050 eligible allied healthcare workers received one-on-one coaching from InsideTrack, and they saw their wages rise by more than $15 per hour across all Education Fund programs. The turnover rate among Education Fund learners was just 4 percent. "This is a unique example of how employers, organized labor, and educators can work together to drive professional advancement opportunities for workers while also meeting the evolving health and employment needs of communities. It's a win-win-win," Hanson says.
The Education Fund also recently incorporated coaching through InsideTrack into its new medical assistant pathway program. Enrollment surpassed its goal by 140 percent. Eight out of 10 learners who enrolled completed the certificate program in 2021, which set up hundreds of workers on a pathway to higher-paying careers in the field. For the next phase of the collaboration, Education Fund plans to develop an in-house employee coaching program with InsideTrack's support.