oliva pope stillIf you don’t know the name Olivia Pope, or have never seen the show Scandal, let me just tell you that you are wasting your time on Thursday nights. For those of you who are not on the Scandal bandwagon, it’s the immensely popular ABC hit drama which chronicles the highly stressful life of Washington’s most impressive (and fictional) fixer, Olivia Pope. Olivia — a ruthlessly efficient workaholic who mainly subsists off of popcorn, wine, and justice for her clients — spends countless hours a day hiding and/or smoothing over the mistakes and misfortunes of D.C.’s most prominent players in the most ethical way she can. She calls it, “wearing the white hat.” But not all her clients are good guys, and not all her cases are solved completely above-board. This constant intrigue mixed with her disastrous love life and the palpable chemistry of Scandal’s ensemble cast is what makes it one of the most addictive shows on television.

Now that you’ve got a little background on Scandal and it’s leading lady, Olivia Pope, enjoy this post. Then go binge watch Scandal season one. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

So, how does a show about high-powered politicians and elaborate government cover-ups relate to working in healthcare? Well, let me explain. As a medical administrative assistant I realize that I’m basically on the bottom of the food chain as far as healthcare administration goes. However, I’ve also realized after working this job for nearly a year that even if you’re in an entry-level administrative healthcare position, if you genuinely make a point to be good at it, you will start feeling like you’re Scandal’s Olivia Pope.

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Lean Human CapitalEditorial Note: This is a guest blog post written by David Szary, Founder & Partner of Lean Human Capital and The Recruiter Academy. David is a leading authority on developing radical, just-in-time recruitment solutions for companies seeking to develop an elite staffing organization. To learn more about Lean Human Capital and The Recruiter Academy, subscribe to their blog to receive weekly updates.  

In recent years, the U.S. healthcare system has undergone significant transformation, partially due to the initiatives put in place by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare employment is projected to increase from 16.4 million in 2010 to 22 million in 2020. Based on these statistics alone, it’s clear that we do not have enough healthcare workers to effectively provide care for everyone now — let alone for future generations.

With that said, I believe that the most important function within a healthcare organization, during this time of extraordinary change, is recruitment. (Yes, I said recruitment.) Whether we like it or not, the industry is experiencing fundamental change, and healthcare recruitment professionals must be at the forefront of this transformation. In order for an organization to operate at the highest level of performance and remain competitive, it is crucial to hire top talent. This is especially true for healthcare, where everyday processes are highly regulated and employees have direct contact with the people who determine the success of an organization — patients. 

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4 Ways to Celebrate National Nurses Week

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National Nurses Week_NNW2015_WebAd_300x250pxThe annual celebration of National Nurses Week, which begins on May 6 and ends on May 12 (in observance of Florence Nightingale’s birthday), recognizes the millions of nurses who make up the backbone of the American healthcare system. It’s meant to be a week that we all stop and reflect upon all of the hard work that our nurses and nurse educators do each and every day. It’s meant to be a week where we, as a society (not just those of us who work in healthcare) recognize and celebrate the nurses who have touched all of our lives. This year, the theme of National Nurses Week is “Ethical Practice. Quality Care,” which was developed to recognize the importance of ethics in the field of nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion, and care that nurses provide.

During National Nurses Week and throughout the year, HealthcareSource is proud to support healthcare organizations in their mission to elevate the role that nurses play in delivering high-quality patient and resident care. There are many ways to celebrate and show your appreciation throughout Nurses Week, but here are just a few ideas to get you started:

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mad-men-mad-menAMC’s acclaimed hit show, Mad Men, has returned for its final season to complete its journey through the 1960s. Throughout this era of transition, we see the characters change the style of their clothes, their hair, and perhaps of most interest, their roles in both the family and the workplace. The show’s initial seasons centered around the stereotypical roles of the male breadwinner and the stay-at-home housewife. Now, as the show nears its end, we see divorces, men taking a larger role in their children’s lives, independent women excelling in the workplace, and the clash of cultures as the ‘60s gives rise to the counter-cultural revolution and freedom from various forms of oppression. For me, it’s been extremely interesting to see how the workplace has changed since the debut of the show and to compare it to the workplace today.

What’s Changed — And What Hasn’t
From an HR standpoint, the Mad Men days seem like ancient history, with their overt sexual harassment and bigotry. Indeed, just over half a century ago — within the Mad Men era — employers could legally place newspaper classified ads categorized by gender and even by race or religion. Secretaries were referred to as “girls” and men didn’t pour their own coffee or hang their own coats. Women and minorities were hard-pressed to advance in the workplace — and, some would argue, that challenge persists to this day.

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HealthcareSource Acquired by Francisco Partners

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blogToday, HealthcareSource announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by Francisco Partners, a private equity firm. As President and CEO of HealthcareSource, I wanted to share what this means for our clients.

As a leader, I am proud. Proud of what our employees have done, proud of the relationships we’ve built with clients, and the value we’ve provided them. In the nearly seven years since I joined HealthcareSource, we have grown significantly from about 40 employees and 1,000 hospital clients to more than 200 employees and 2,500 hospital and non-acute care clients. We’ve grown from an applicant tracking company with two products to a talent management company with 11 products.

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ICD-10 Implementation: Preparing Your Organization

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deadlineICD-10 compliance for all HIPAA-covered entities is scheduled for implementation on October 1 of this year. No judgements from me if you’re a little leery of that date. We’ve had more than our fair share of delays. This time, though, it’s for real. ICD-10 implementation is going to happen in 5 months. Let that sink in. Five. Months.

Why is ICD-10 so essential now?

With the multitude of ICD-10 requirements it’s easy to forget that CMS isn’t trying to punish medical practices. The objective is to improve the practice of medicine through better information, enhanced patient datasets and automated claim reporting. The US is the last industrialized nation not using the greater functionality of the ICD-10-CM. Having healthcare records that are reliable and accessible to all providers has long been a challenge in the US. The New York Times notes that over 100,000 patient deaths a year are attributable to inaccurate medical records.

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As a woman in the workforce, I find the persistence of wage inequality in this country deeply troubling. It is simply unacceptable that the average American woman makes 77 cents to her male coworker’s dollar — and that’s just the average. There are states where women take home as low as 66 percent of what men do for the exact same workload, and even states who notoriously pay employees more than anywhere else in the country still pay females an average of at least 6 percent less than they pay their male employees.

Additionally, and perhaps even more concerning, is the sad fact that this gap doesn’t get any better in fields traditionally dominated by women. According to a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, even healthcare is guilty of paying it’s male professionals more than it’s female ones who hold the same, or very similar, positions. As a healthcare professional, and a woman, I could not be more disappointed by these results.

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ICD-10 Delay No More — It’s the Final Countdown

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ICD-10 Training and eLearning EducationIt looks like we’ve seen the last of the ICD-10 delays — finally! The possibility of yet another ICD-10 implementation delay was put to rest earlier this week when the Senate approved legislation to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Since there was no language regarding ICD-10 implementation delays in the latest version of the SGR bill, it can be expected that the ICD-10 implementation deadline will take place as scheduled on October 1, 2015.

Just check out these headlines regarding the vote from this past Tuesday, April 15:

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3 Trends Impacting Health Care Talent Acquisition

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Editorial Note: This is a contributed guest post written by Amy Goble, Vice President of AHACareerCenter.org, the online job board of the American Hospital Association (AHA).

It’s hard to keep up with all the changes happening in health care, especially as they relate to talent acquisition and the evolving roles of the health care workforce. To help health care recruiters and HR professionals stay abreast of the latest trends, AHACareerCenter.org has released a comprehensive report using resources from the American Hospital Association and other trusted sources. Here are three insights from the 2015 Health Care Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan:

1.  The age range of health care workers spans more than forty years, creating distinctive challenges and opportunities for both employers and employees, such as:

Organizational hierarchies may be restructured as Gen Xers and Millennials rise to leadership roles. As Gen Xers and Millennials become leaders, health care organizations may need to consider flattening their structure and removing departmental and management hierarchies. Gen Xers and Millennials — future leaders and the bulk of the workforce — consider organizational hierarchies as barriers to creativity and innovation.

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coachingIn healthcare, employees who feel engaged with their work are more likely to provide quality care. Many healthcare organizations are finding that positive coaching is an effective way to increase employee engagement and increase quality care.

Rather than relying on one annual performance review, more and more organizations are moving to a model where managers provide constructive feedback to employees throughout the year. Trinity Health System in Steubenville, Ohio, for example, has embraced this type of positive coaching as a way to motivate employees and influence changes in behavior. “When healthcare organizations focus exclusively on disciplining poor performers, they forget about the rest of the employees who are doing a good job. That pulls people down,” said Kathie Pasquarella, Director of Education and Training. “Instead, we try to focus on things that are going well. We show people where they are at and how they can reach the levels of performance we are looking for.”

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