"Health Care Workforce and Patient Population in Future" is a wonderful example of a paper on social and family issues. Demographic changes and other shifts related to diversity will have a significant influence on the workforce and patient populations in the future. This will, therefore, result in different opportunities and threats in the healthcare system. However, in order to address the threats and maximize the opportunities that these changes will bear, it is important that the human resources management in healthcare adopts various effective strategies in recruitment and training. For the past half a century, the baby boom generation has dominated American life.
The aging of this generation will have an enormous impact on healthcare in the country. Between the years 2005 and 2030, it is expected that the number of older adults in the United States will double. The baby boomer generation started to turn 65 from the year 2011. By 2029, it is expected that 71 million Americans will be aged above 65 years (Barr, 2014). This will be a 73 percent increase from 41 million in 2011. The health care system will, therefore, experience the effects of having to care for such a large group of older adults. The aging population in America will create multiple challenges for the health care system in the future.
For one, the majority of older people are known to suffer from at least one chronic condition and rely more on health care services, compared to the younger people. Therefore, apart from an increased patient population, this will make health care practitioners have to deal with patients with multiple chronic conditions. In addition, this generation of older adults will be the most diverse generation to ever exist in the United States.
This has more education, more racial and ethnic diversity, and more widely dispersed families. This will, therefore, make this generation of older adults have different needs compared to those of the previous generations. The current training of health care workers will therefore be insufficient in addressing the health needs of this group of patients. A problem that will arise is the shortage of all types of health care workers, especially those in long-term care settings.
This is mainly because of the expected increase in the patient population. Additionally, the present health care workforce lacks adequate training to care for older adults (Reinhard & Hassmiller, 2010). This will therefore be a challenge, as most of the needs of the older adults will not be met sufficiently. There are two major implications that an aging American population will have on the health care workforce and strategic human resources management in health care organizations. First, this will lead to an increase in the patient population. As seen, older adults are prone to illnesses; hence there will be more patients.
Second, this will lead to a shortage in health care workforce. The increased patient population will require an increased health care workforce in order to cater to the needs of patients effectively. One major strategy that the human resources management of health care organizations today should adopt to ensure that this future situation is put under control is increasing recruitment and retention. In addition, training the health care workforce about caring for older adults is paramount. Training should be in transitional care, chronic disease management, and quality improvement, among other related areas (Eldercare Workforce Alliance, 2008).
There should, therefore, be a more health care workforce that is well trained and better prepared to care for people with multiple chronic conditions in all settings. In conclusion, demographic changes will have a major impact on the health care workforce and patient population in the future. The United States in the near future is expected to experience a larger number of older adults. This means that the patient population will increase, while the health care workforce will be inadequate to meet the increased needs of the large patient population.
The human resources management of health care organizations must therefore prepare well for this major shift by adopting different strategies such as increased recruitment and retention and training of the health care workforce. This will have a positive impact on future health care despite the threats that an aging population presents.
Barr, P. (2014). The Boomer Challenge. Hospitals & Health Networks. Retrieved from
Eldercare Workforce Alliance (2008).Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health
Care Workforce. New York: National Academies Press.
Reinhard, S. & Hassmiller, S. (2010). The Future of Nursing. AARP International Journal.
Retrieved from http://journal.aarpinternational.org/a/b/2012/02/The-Future-of-Nursing-Transforming-Health-Care