A 2021 survey, conducted by HFM in cooperation with the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) and the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE), found that of 1,030 health care facility professionals, over 26% have spent more than 25 years in management positions and will be retiring in large numbers in coming years.

This statistic indicates that now is a critical time for succession planning or preparing talented individuals to fill key vacancies.

Succession planning challenges

Replenishing the pipeline of health care facility professionals is no easy task. Health care teams across the nation face a set of unique challenges, including:

  • Specialized knowledge. The health care physical environment is highly regulated — far more than many other industries. Acquiring the requisite specialized knowledge and building relationships with authorities having jurisdiction takes time.
  • Lack of exposure. Not enough young professionals are aware of the health care facility profession. ASHE has taken strides to improve this through its discounted student membership, university relationships and the Ilse B. Almanza Scholarship Fund, but often a career in this field is something professionals stumble upon.
  • Insufficient education entryways. Few educational opportunities lead to health care facility careers. Except for a small number of college and university programs that have worked with ASHE to develop courses, not many direct pathways are available for young professionals seeking to enter the field.

Strategies to preserve a health care facilities team legacy

It’s vital to start succession planning now. A small window of time remains to plan for retiring facility leaders.

While human resources departments are active in recruiting new talent, health care facility teams need to assist them with identifying holes in the ranks and creating job descriptions to make sure the right candidates are found. In addition, get the C-suite team on board to make sure adequate resources are allocated for succession planning.
Use ASHE’s monograph, Succession Planning: Preparing for the Future of Your Facility and Your Career, for guidance with organizational succession planning and personal career development.

Attend the 2022 ASHE Annual Conference for expert-led sessions and peer-to-peer support in succession planning. Connect with seasoned professionals at the keynote session, Leadership Under Pressure, led by Dr. Sudip Bose on July 18. For those new to the field, the Early Career and Young Professionals Reception on July 19 is a great place meet fellow colleagues at. Conference attendees can use these opportunities and more to secure the future of health care facilities teams. Explore educational sessions and register for attendance below.

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