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This topic has 6 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 2 months ago by Allison Abayasekara.

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    • Once you’ve worked through the assignment, come to this thread and answer one or both of these reflection questions. Our goal is to help you implement some of these data collection & analysis practices, and part of that effort is talking through potential roadblocks! Let’s think on it together.

      1. Which data point seems trickiest to collect and analyze?
      2. What strategies is your team going to implement to incorporate this data effort into your retention planning?

      • I previously worked at Norton Sound Health Corporation based out of Nome, AK. It is a large system, 1 hospital, outpatient clinic and 15 village clinics with a brisk provider turnover and I can see where the data could be helpful. Now that I am at a single clinic with 5 medical staff employees, I am having a harder time applying data to this situation. In the 3 years I have been at Dahl Memorial, I have had 3 employees leave, but since I work with them every day, I know the reasons for each departure and none of them came as a surprise. I guess I am asking for help to see how a situation with much fewer data points will paint a better picture than working along side people daily.

        • Ah, the agonies and ecstasies of applying data strategies to smaller organizations! Yes, the use cases of this kind of data are definitely different between smaller and larger organizations. I’ve found the best approach is to spend some time with your goals for using data at all. Are you interested in using the workforce data to find identifiable retention issues? Are you doing it to be able to better tell your story, either internally or externally? Are you doing it to improve communication and opportunities for engagement? Are you doing it actually for recruitment purposes, so you can be clear about what it’s like to work there? The goal you have will help you identify which data points are most relevant to your organization and how you might use them. Your personal relationships and knowledge will always be the most important thing with such a close working environment; the data is just there to help you do things like communicate about what you see/know. So give the goal issue some thought, and once you have that clear, we can talk through specific data points or strategies that might be most helpful in your case.

          • Thanks Allison,
            I have not used the workforce data yet, but am interested is looking at it. I feel like I know the retention issues, number one being the call required and the complexities of the cases we see, 2 is the amount we can pay in comparison to the market place, here I am a victim of my own making. I advocated long and hard for competitive salaries when I was at NSHC, they took my advise finally and the other health corporations have for the most done the same, here in Skagway we cannot come close. We have done very well with benefits, but not every provider focuses on that, unless they have a family, so still trying to innovate in this area. I do try very hard to communicate regularly with staff collectively and individually on a regular basis, and have a pretty good feel for where everyone is at. The area of recruitment is an area to focus on and perhaps data can help here. Providers are generally quick to say they are fine in an environment like ours, but for those who have come and not worked out, typically I hear ” you were serious, I didn’t think it would be this intense”. So there are some initial thoughts, I will do some more thinking on it.
            Thanks, Chris

            • You’re making a great connection here– sometimes retention is really about recruiting the right people, and figuring out which issues have made the most impact in recruiting. Issues I’m hearing here are related to communications on compensation, finding the people most attracted to the unique benefits package you offer, understanding how you’re supporting your staff, and identifying potential new ways to communicate/mitigate the challenges of practicing in your community.

              Given all that, I’d say some of the metrics we’re going to explore in the next session might be most useful since they’re more tied to your organizational experience. Some potential data points to examine would be:
              – Cost of Benefits: How can you attach a monetary value to all benefits, and use that package to provide a better picture of compensation that isn’t just straight salary comparison with your competitors?
              – Team Composition & Support Ratios: How are your work flows and team designed to make the practice experience better for everyone? How can you demonstrate that your organization is built to make the work as positive as possible?
              – Training & Education Benefits: Inventory the benefits available to everyone on staff to learn more about their work, identify peers inside and outside of their organization, and feel better prepared for the work? What percentage of people make use of those benefits? How can you encourage people to use any educational benefits available to them?
              – Isolation: How demographically similar or different are your staff from each other and from peers in your geographic area? Are there any natural groups that form (e.g. 65% of staff are over the age of 55)? Are there any individuals that are demographically different and more isolated from the team? Obviously you know them and know their personal stories with each other, but just looking at the top line numbers can sometimes help you think through interpersonal pieces in a fresh way.

    • Yadira asked a great question in our office hour today: “Has anyone done a NHSC event before?”

      I’m happy to say that lots of health centers hold NHSC events in October of each year during Corps Community Month ( Many organizations take time to host external events like health fairs & award ceremonies, as well as internal events like brown-bag discussion groups. No matter the type of event, it’s important to use it as an opportunity to identify alum & current NHSC participants, and engage in conversation about the common mission of NHSC and health centers.

      If your organization has hosted an NHSC event, tell us about it on this thread!

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