Applying technology to boost hiring, retention of staff

Summa Health CEO shares organization’s shift to adding remote workforce and other steps to bolster its workforce and talent retention.

This article is part of a CEO leadership series

Summa Health relies on technology as part of its efforts to onboard and train its staff, which aids in retention.

Cliff Deveny, M.D., president and CEO at Summa Health, a large integrated delivery system in Ohio, says technology is playing a big role in the organization’s efforts to hire and retain staff. One key component of that strategy is to expand the use of a remote workforce.

“We adopted a ‘professional employment organization’ with the capacity to hire from all 50 states,” the CEO says. “It’s ‘work at home’ on steroids. We have people in 13 states.”

Summa also relies heavily on technology to onboard and train staff. “There’s a whole science to education,” he says.

A related priority was to ensure that Summa Health’s IT personnel had the expertise to support the health system as it evolved.

“We’re investing $40 million in our own Epic (system), and everything will be integrated into one platform, including the EHR and revenue cycle. We’ve had to look at our 150 IT employees and put them through competency training and see if they have the formal certifications to take on the new role. We have had to evaluate talent, recruit and finance it.”

To remain competitive when recruiting talent, healthcare organizations need to leverage technology, he stresses. “If you don’t invest in technology, you may not be able to stay in the game.”

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