MISSOURI, US – Mercy has been awarded a $96,612 grant from the Missouri Hospital Association to prepare and retain its health care workforce in the face of changes and challenges in the future.
The aging population, growing number of individuals with chronic conditions, and expanded access to health insurance have led to increasing demands on the health care system. These factors and others have generated an urgent need for additional hospital caregivers.
The "Grow Your Own" grant will be used to create an education and leadership development program that will increase competency of health care professionals and engage co-workers in continuous improvement efforts.
"Mercy has been a leader in co-worker education, developing the talented individuals within our system to provide improved patient care and satisfaction," said Dr. Timothy Smith, vice president for research. "Significant changes to payments and health care delivery systems, coupled with new technology, such as electronic health records, have increased the demand for workers with highly specialized skills."
In addition to an improved environment for recruiting new co-workers, the program is designed to benefit existing staff.
"Increased job satisfaction is known to improve nurse retention," said Robin Kretschman, vice president, nursing excellence. "We firmly believe that empowered and motivated nurses enhance the patient experience."
A core team of Mercy leaders and facilitators will attend training offered by Healthcare Value Network to customize curriculum and development sessions. About 30 selected nurse leaders, from hospitals throughout Missouri, will be trained on Lean Leadership principles and develop an electronic learning module for an additional 6,100 direct patient care providers.
"The workforce challenge for hospitals is two-fold," said Herb Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. "Hospitals must address the shortage of educated health care workers, and they must recruit and retain talented individuals to manage increasingly complex health care organizations. The Grow Your Own program allows hospitals to address these challenges with plans that are tailored to the needs of their organizations and the communities they serve."
Applications for the Grow Your Own grants were submitted in July and selected by an independent committee composed of representatives from health care, education and non-profit organizations with experience in grant development and funding.