Wisconsin Hospital Association report highlights healthcare needs


(WFRV) – The Wisconsin Hospital Association released its annual workforce report highlighting some of the ongoing needs in the healthcare industry the pandemic further exacerbated.

Ann Zenk, the Senior Vice President of Work Force and Clinical Practice for the Wisconsin Hospital Association said, “Every year WHA takes the annual survey information that our hospitals submit along with a review of national data and the experience and expertise of our hospital member leaders and we compile an analysis and report on work force trends in Wisconsin.”

This years report was altered by the pandemic.

“COVID-19 exacerbated existing shortages it actually created some new work force shortages that we don’t know if they’re temporary or permanent,” said Zenk. “We’re thinking they are temporary but time will only tell.”

Zenk said they are seeing shortages both in entry-level positions such as nursing assistants and surgical technicians but also in advanced practice roles such as nurse practitioners and physicians assistants.

These shortages can cause additional stress in the workforce, especially during the pandemic.

Jeff Bahr, the Chief Medical Group Officer for Aurora said, “To say it wasn’t stressful probably would not be true. There was a certain degree of stress.”

He said the pandemic further exacerbated some of the stress that comes with working in the healthcare industry.

“The impact of seeing that degree of work for so many patients at that degree of acuity has substantial emotional and psychological impact on even the most grizzled and battle-ready clinicians,” said Bahr.

The WHA and Department of Health Services in Wisconsin help healthcare providers utilize matching grant funds to grow the amount of providers in Wisconsin that stay in Wisconsin.

“If you take an individual that has ties to Wisconsin, provide them with a spot at a Wisconsin medical school and a Wisconsin residency, there’s an 86% chance that physician is going to stay and practice in Wisconsin,” said Zenk.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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