Where the Healthcare Jobs Are

What states are your best bet for finding a job in healthcare? We break down the places with the most openings, as well as popular positions in each.

Healthcare is, has been, and continues to be a booming industry in the United States. But what states, in particular, have the most available jobs? We analyzed job data on our site and came up with the three states with the most available openings in healthcare right now, as well as a selection of the popular position types available in each.

1. California

2. Texas

3. New York

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

3 Settings to Consider Working in as a Medical Assistant

The number of Medical Assistants is expected to increase 29% percent through 2026, but there’s more to medical assisting than working in a doctor’s office.

Medical Assistants support a wide range of essential functions in healthcare, performing an array of administrative and clinical tasks in a variety of settings, and the need for Medical Assistants is only growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of Medical Assistants is expected to increase 29% percent through 2026, making it a booming field that is growing more rapidly than the 11% growth expected for all occupations.

As a career that is relatively quick to get into, with a certification taking just 10 months to obtain, and one that has an average annual salary of more than $32,000, it is a solid career choice that cements you in the fabric of the ever-growing healthcare industry. It also affords an array of employment options, meaning that as a Medical Assistant, you can work in a variety of settings—not just in a doctor’s office, though that is where an estimated 62% of Medical Assistants are employed.

Here are a few different settings to consider, if you are interested in diversifying.

Hospitals

If you’re looking for a fast-paced environment and don’t necessarily want to be tied to a 9-to-5, working in a hospital may be a good fit for you. Given their 24/7 business hours and the diversity of cases (you will likely see everything from life-threatening trauma to routine procedures), this could be the job to keep you on your toes—morning, noon, nights, and weekends. There are also more than 5,500 hospitals in the United States, making it pretty likely there’s one hiring nearby.

Laboratories

If you prefer not interfacing with patients nearly as much, this might be the setting for you. Working as a Medical Assistant in a diagnostic laboratory means you will run tests on samples, record results, and input data. You could also be tasked with supporting scientists if the lab you’re working at is at a research university, and work in medical research and development.

Assisted Living Communities

If you have a passion for helping people, participating in geriatric care at an assisted living community may be the perfect Medical Assistant role for you. As the Baby Boomer generation ages into retirement, the demand for assistance in senior living communities across the country will only continue to grow. Help them make the most of their final years by performing daily living tasks, taking vital signs, and maintaining medical records.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Energy-Hog Hospitals: When They Start Thinking Green, They See Green

The health care sector is responsible for nearly 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a good enough reason to go green, but it can also reduce costs.

Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News

Hospitals are energy hogs.

With their 24/7 lighting, heating and water needs, they use up to five times more energy than a fancy hotel.

Executives at some systems view their facilities like hotel managers, adding amenities, upscale new lobbies and larger parking garages in an effort to attract patients and increase revenue. But some hospitals are revamping with a different goal in mind: becoming more energy-efficient, which can also boost the bottom line.

“We’re saving $1 [million] to $3 million a year in hard cash,” said Jeff Thompson, the former CEO of Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wis., the first hospital system in the U.S. to produce more energy than it consumed back in 2014. As an added benefit, he said, “we’re polluting a lot less.”

The health care sector — one of the nation’s largest industries — is responsible for nearly 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions — hundreds of millions of tons worth of carbon each year. Hospitals make up more than one-third of those emissions, according to a paper by researchers at Northeastern University and Yale.

Increasingly, though, health systems are paying attention:

  • Gundersen Health System in Wisconsin employs wind, wood chips, landfill-produced methane gas — and even cow manure — to generate power, reporting more than a 95 percent drop in its emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter and mercury from 2008 to 2016.
  • Boston Medical Center analyzed its hospital for duplicative and underused space, then downsized while increasing patient capacity. Among other changes, it now has a gas-fired 2-megawatt cogeneration plant that traps and reuses heat, saving money and emissions, while supplying 41 percent of the hospital’s needs and acting as a backup for essential services if the municipal power grid goes out.
  • Theda Clark Medical Center in Wisconsin is saving nearly $800,000 a year — 30 percent of its energy costs — after making changes that included retrofitting lights, insulating pipes, taking the lights out of vending machines and turning off air exchangers in parts of its building after hours.
  • Kaiser Permanente aims to be “carbon-neutral” by 2020, mainly by incorporating solar energy at up to 100 of its hospitals and other facilities. One already in use — at its Richmond (Calif.) Medical Center — is credited with reducing electric bills by about $140,000 a year.

While the environmental benefits are important, “what I’ve seen over the years is cost reductions are the prime motivator,” said Patrick Kallerman, research manager at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, which released a report this spring outlining ways the hospital industry can help states such as California reach environmental goals by becoming more efficient.

Some of its recommendations are simple: replacing old lighting and windows. Others are more complex: powering down heating and cooling in areas not being used and updating ventilation standards first set back in Florence Nightingale’s day. Such tight standards “might not be necessary,” Kallerman said. Loosening them could help save money and energy.

When Bob Biggio was hired in 2011 to oversee Boston Medical Center’s facilities, hospital leaders were about to launch a broad redesign. Yet the hospital was also facing serious financial struggles. He put the move on hold while analyzing how the hospital was using its existing space, looking for unused or duplicative areas.

“My first impression with data I had gathered was our campus was about 400,000 square feet bigger than it needed to be, said Biggio. “A square foot you never have to build is most efficient of all.”

The new design is smaller but more efficient, handling 20 percent higher patient volume and eliminating the need for ambulance transportation between far-flung areas of the campus. It also cut power consumption by 42 percent from a 2011 baseline.

While the hospital sunk a lot of money into the renovation, the center was able to sell off some of its land to help offset the costs, leading to about a five-year return on investment, Biggio said.

“We are a safety-net hospital with a large Medicaid population,” he said. “So this is the last place people expect to see the type of investments and progress we’ve made.”

But how to sell that in the C-suite?

The environmental argument wasn’t how Thompson convinced executives at Gundersen.

“At no point did I mention climate change or polar bears,” said Thompson.

Instead, he focused on the organization’s mission to improve health — and the potential cost savings.

“There are multiple examples — at Gundersen and other places — where, if we’re thoughtful, we can improve the local economy, lower the cost of health care and decrease the pollution that is making people sick,” he said.

But hospitals’ energy efficiency efforts vary, with only about 10 percent attempting changes as dramatic as those done at Gundersen, estimated Alex Thorpe, a hospital energy expert at Optum Advisory Services, a consulting firm owned by UnitedHealth Group.

“About 50 percent are in the middle,” he added, perhaps because these investments are weighed against other capital needs.

“If you have a well-known doctor that wants a new cutting-edge piece of equipment, then it can be hard to make the business case [for investing in alternative energy],” said Thorpe.

Of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the country, about 1,100 are members of Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit that promotes environmental stewardship. Fewer than 300 hospitals qualify as Energy Star facilities, an Environmental Protection Agency program that recognizes buildings that rank in the top quartile for energy conservation among their peers.

Greenhealth estimates its members average about a million dollars a year in savings, but it all depends what steps they take.

There are modest savings from such things as reducing the heating and air conditioning in operating rooms during hours they are not in use, with median annual cost savings of $45,398, a report from the group notes. Other energy reduction efforts net another median $53,599 in annual savings, while swapping older lighting for new LED bulbs in operating rooms saves another $3,329.

Individually, those savings are not even rounding errors in most hospitals’ total expenses, which are measured in the millions of dollars.

Still, within facility expenses, energy use accounts for 51 percent of spending, so even modest cuts are “significant,” said Kara Brooks, sustainability program manager for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.

Ultimately, that may affect what hospitals charge insurers and patients.

“If hospitals can lower peak demand through energy efficiency efforts, that will directly impact their pricing,” said Thorpe.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

The Best Hospitals, As Ranked by Specialty

If you work in a hospital setting, do you work at one of the best? The annual list of the Best Hospitals in the United States is out, and here are the winners.

Of the more than 5,500 hospitals in the United States, only 158 can call themselves “the best,” at least according to the just-released list of the Best Hospitals in the United States for 2018-2019 from U.S. News & World Report. To determine the winners, U.S. News collected and analyzed data from nearly 5,000 medical centers, as well as survey responses from 30,000+ physicians, and ranked those with the best scores across 16 specialties. Below are the top three hospitals named the Best for Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Neurology & Neurosurgery, and Geriatrics, as well as their scores in their respective specialties.

Best Hospitals for Cancer

  1. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX – 100/100
  2. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY – 97.4/100
  3. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN – 95.3/100

Best Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery

  1. Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH – 100/100
  2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN – 99.6/100
  3. Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA – 84.3/100

Best Hospitals for Neurology & Neurosurgery

  1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN – 100/100
  2. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD – 95.7/100
  3. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, CA – 89.1/100

Best Hospitals for Geriatrics

  1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN – 100/100
  2. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD – 97.5/100
  3. Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY – 94.5/100

The top three Best Hospitals in the United States, across all specialties and over all, according to the report, are Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins Hospital, in that order.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Women (and Discrimination) in Healthcare

Despite women accounting for nearly 80% of all healthcare employees, they still face discrimination and barriers to advancement in the workplace, says a new report.

Healthcare is powered by women. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for 78.5% of the entire healthcare workforce. Still, the healthcare industry and the women employed by it, are not exempt from discrimination.

Rock Health, the first venture fund dedicated to digital health, recently released the results of their annual Women in Healthcare survey, in which they spoke to 635 women in healthcare about just that—being women in healthcare. The findings of the report indicate that women are pessimistic about achieving gender parity in their industry, that women led companies are better for morale, that African American women strongly believe racial discrimination is a barrier to career advancement, and more.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • 55% of respondents believe it will take 25+ years to achieve gender parity in the workplace, with approximately 15% saying they believe it will take more than 50 years.
  • This lack of confidence may be tied to the fact that growth for women in positions of leadership has remained sluggish, or even declined, with women only accounting for 22.6% of board members and 21.9% of executives at Fortune 500 healthcare companies, up only 1.6% and 1.9%, respectively, since 2015, and women’s executive roles in hospitals seeing a decrease, down from 36.4% in 2015 to 34.5% in 2018.
  • Women in leadership roles, however, prove better for company morale. For survey respondents employed by companies with less than 10% women executives, the average rating of company culture was 5.5 out of 10, as opposed to companies with 50% or more women executives, which had an average rating of 8.6 out of 10.
  • Gender barriers weren’t the only things measured by the survey. Atop gender bias, 86% of African American women surveyed said their race is “very much” a barrier to career advancement, compared to just 9% of white women.
  • Among women of all races surveyed, 71.2% of women stated that they believe underselling skills is a significant barrier to career advancement.

The full survey results, including more facts and figures from the findings, can be viewed here.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

A Look at Healthcare Benefits for Hospital Employees

New findings show that hospitals are offering their employees fewer insurance options, and spending more per employee on healthcare benefits.

An annual survey from Aon, which collected data from nearly 250 hospitals and health systems in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, found that the average annual healthcare expense per employee has increased more than $2,000 in the last five years, climbing from $13,222 in 2013 to $15,519 in 2018.

The findings also indicate that hospitals are offering fewer insurance options to their employees, with 60% of the surveyed hospitals and health systems saying they only offer one or two insurance plans.

The survey also found that 49% offer employees a comprehensive and coordinated wellness program, and 54% offer a single paid time off pool arrangement, instead of offering separate sets of time off, such as vacation days and sick days.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

The State of Healthcare Across the United States

Vermont is the best state for Americans to receive healthcare and Louisiana is the worst, according to a new survey. Do you work in a state in the top five? Or, worse, the bottom five?

Vermont is the best state for Americans to receive healthcare and Louisiana is the worst, according to a new survey from WalletHub. The findings, which were compiled using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research, and many other reputable sources, were determined by comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 40 measures of cost, accessibility, and outcome, including variables such as hospital beds per capita, infant, child, and maternal mortality rates, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants per capita, cancer rates, share of non-immunized children, and more. States were graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best possible healthcare available at the most reasonable cost. Below are the top five best and worst states and their scores, as found by the survey.

Top Five Best States for Healthcare

  1. Vermont (66.31/100)
  2. Massachusetts (65.31/100)
  3. New Hampshire (64.03/100)
  4. Minnesota (63.35/100)
  5. Hawaii (63.08/100)

Top Five Worst States for Healthcare

  1. Louisiana (41.14/100)
  2. Mississippi (41.53/100)
  3. Alaska (41.78/100)
  4. Arkansas (43.22/100)
  5. North Carolina (43.98/100)

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Is the Future of American Healthcare Digital?

U.S. healthcare is broken. For a lot of reasons. But the transformation of U.S. healthcare could revolve around that marvelous little computer in our pockets: the smartphone.

from The Doctor Weighs In

I could go on and on about the problems in U.S. healthcare, but being a glass-half-full type, I would rather discuss what I believe is hope for a huge transformation in the way healthcare is delivered and consumed. It all revolves around that marvelous little computer that many of us continually engage with throughout the day: your smartphone. Add to that sensors that can pick up physiologic data, sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence that can transform that data into information that you (and your healthcare providers) can react to, and responsive stuff in our homes, workplaces, schools, cars (the internet of things) that can be programmed to help us live healthier lives and treat illnesses at home. Top it off with new ways to communicate easily and efficiently with healthcare professionals who can provide appropriately timed coaching and advice and you can see how we can create a “healthcare system” that is at once more personalized, more people-centric, and more efficient than our current model of office- and facility-based care.

Read More →

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

A Hospital’s Human Touch: Why Taking Care In Discharging A Patient Matters

Patients and caregivers want to feel prepared to look after themselves or loved ones when they leave the hospital, and they want to know that their needs will be attended to until they stabilize or recover, however long that takes.

Judith Graham

The kidney doctor sat next to Judy Garrett’s father, looking into his face, her hand on his arm. There are things I can do for you, she told the 87-year-old man, but if I do them I’m not sure you will like me very much.

The word “death” wasn’t mentioned, but the doctor’s meaning was clear: There was no hope of recovery from kidney failure. Garrett’s father listened quietly. “I want to go home,” he said.

It was a turning point for the man and his family. “This doctor showed us the reality of my father’s condition,” Garrett said, gratefully recalling the physician’s compassion. A month later, her father passed away peacefully at home.

This kind of caring is what older adults want when they become seriously ill and move back and forth between the hospital and other settings, according to the largest study ever of patients’ and caregivers’ experiences with care transitions.

Two other priorities are also crucially important, according to recently published research: Patients and caregivers want to feel prepared to look after themselves or loved ones when they leave the hospital, and they want to know that their needs will be attended to until they stabilize or recover, however long that takes.

What’s striking is how often hospitals fail to fulfill these expectations, even though it’s been known for decades that care transitions are problematic and strategies to reduce preventable hospital readmissions have been widely adopted.

“Despite millions of dollars of investment and thousands of hours of effort, the health care system still feels very hazardous, unsafe and stressful from the perspective of patients and caregivers,” said Dr. Suzanne Mitchell, assistant professor of family medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and lead author of the new report.

She’s part of a team of experts spearheading Project ACHIEVE, a five-year, $15 million study investigating the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve care transitions. The focus is on what Medicare patients and caregivers need and want when a hospital stay ends and they return home.

One part of the project involves asking people who undergo these transitions — mostly older adults — about their experiences: what went well, what didn’t. In addition to the new report, a survey of more than 9,000 patients and 3,000 caregivers is close to completion. Results will be published this fall.

Another part involves looking at what hospitals are doing to try to improve transitions, such as teaching patients and caregivers how to care for wounds or arranging follow-up phone calls with a nurse, among other strategies. A preliminary research report published last year found common problems with transition programs, including haphazard, uncoordinated approaches and a lack of teamwork and leadership.

Several areas deserve special attention, according to people who participated in focus groups and in-depth interviews for Project ACHIEVE:

Getting Actionable Information

Too often, doctors speak to patients and caregivers in “medicalese” and fail to address what patients really want to know — such as “What do I need to do to feel better?” — said Dr. Mark Williams, Project ACHIEVE’s principal investigator and chief transformation and learning officer at the University of Kentucky HealthCare system.

“You really need someone to walk you through what you’re going to need, step by step,” Williams said.

Nothing of the sort occurred when Anita Brazill’s parents, ages 86 and 87, were hospitalized seven times in Scranton, Pa., between Dec. 25, 2016, and Feb. 13, 2017.

First, her mother needed emergency gastrointestinal surgery, then her father became ill with pneumonia. Both went to an understaffed rehabilitation facility after leaving the hospital, and both bounced right back to the hospital — five times altogether — because of complications.

Each time her parents left the hospital, Brazill felt unprepared.

“You’re out on the concrete of the discharge pavilion and they send you off by ambulance or car without a guidebook, without any sense of what to expect or who to call,” she said.

Planning Collaboratively

Ideally, when preparing to release a patient, hospital staff should inquire about older patients’ living circumstances, social support and the help they think they’ll need, and discharge plans should be crafted collaboratively with caregivers.

In practice, this doesn’t happen very often.

In May, Art Greenfield, 81, was admitted at 3 a.m. to a hospital near his home in Santa Clarita, Calif., with severe food poisoning and dehydration. Less than six hours later, after a sleepless night, a hospitalist he had never met walked into his room and told him she was sending him home because his situation had stabilized. (Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in caring for people in the hospital.)

“She had no idea if he could pee without the catheter they’d put in or get out of bed on his own,” said Hedy Greenfield, 76, his wife. “I wasn’t there, and no one asked him if there was somebody who could take care of him at home when he got there. Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to say I’m not ready, I need to stay another day.”

Expressing Caring

Over and over again, patients and caregivers told Project ACHIEVE researchers how important it was to feel that health professionals care about their well-being.

Simple gestures can make a difference. “It’s looking at you, rather than the computer,” said Carol Levine, director of the families and health care project at United Hospital Fund in New York. “It’s knowing your name and giving you a sense of ‘I’m here for you and on your side.’”

Without this sense of caring, patients and caregivers often feel abandoned and lose trust in health care professionals. With it, they feel better able to handle concerns and act on their doctors’ recommendations.

Kathy Rust of Glendale, Calif., remembers walking into a room at an outpatient clinic and seeing a doctor stroking her mother’s hair and calming her before reinserting a feeding tube that the 93-year-old woman had pulled out. “He was making sure she was comfortable,” Rust said, recalling how moved she was by this doctor’s sensitivity.

Anticipating Needs

Few people know what they’ll need in the aftermath of a medical crisis: They want doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers or care managers to help them figure that out and devise a practical plan.

Under the CARE Act — now enacted in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — hospital staff are required to ask patients if they want to identify a caregiver (some choose not to do so) and to educate that caregiver about medical responsibilities they’ll face at home. But implementation has been inconsistent, Levine and other experts said.

Rust panicked the first time her mother’s feeding tube came out, by accident. “I called the transition service at my hospital’s outpatient clinic, and they sent someone over in 30 minutes,” she said. “They were very reassuring that I had done the right thing in calling them, very calming. It was such a positive experience that I wasn’t afraid to contact them with all kinds of questions that came up.”

Too often, however, discharges are hurried and caregivers unaware of what they’ll face at home. Levine tells of an older woman who was handed a pile of paperwork when her husband was being released from the hospital. “She couldn’t read it because she had macular degeneration and no one had thought to ask ‘Do you understand this and do you have any questions?’”

Ensuring Continuity Of Care

“Patients and families tell us that once they leave the hospital, they don’t know who’s responsible for their care,” said Karen Hirschman, an associate professor and NewCourtland Chair in Health Transitions Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

The name of a person to call with questions would be helpful as would round-the-clock access to emergency assistance — for months, if needed.

“It’s not just ‘Now you’re home and we called you a few times to follow up,’” Hirschman said. “It can take much longer for some patients to recover, and they want to know that someone is accountable for their well-being all the way through.”

Judy Garrett found that having cellphone numbers for a home health care nurse and a doctor who made house calls was essential, until hospice took over shortly before her father’s death.

“My advice to families is be physically present as much as possible, although I know that’s not always easy,” she said. “Appoint one person in the family to be the point person for medical professionals to reach out to. Request cellphone numbers, but use them only when you have to. And if you don’t understand what professionals are telling you, ask until you do.”

We’re eager to hear from readers about questions you’d like answered, problems you’ve been having with your care and advice you need in dealing with the health care system. Visit khn.org/columnists to submit your requests or tips.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Patients Have Spoken: Online Presence Is More Critical than Ever in Healthcare

It’s official: word-of-mouth referrals are no longer sacred in healthcare.

from Becker’s Hospital Review

Eighty-one percent of patients revealed that they still conduct online research on providers they’ve been referred to, and 90 percent will choose another provider entirely if they don’t like what they see online. This shift in behavior, what some call the “Amazon effect,” marks a significant turning point in the healthcare industry.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.