Abstract In any health care organization, one of the key departments within the administrative realm is the Human Resources department. Human Resources directors and personnel are primarily responsible for the recruitment, hiring, training, and retention of organizational employees. Further, the Human Resources department within a health care organization is responsible for the management of payroll and benefits, and in the maintenance of employee performance and disciplinary records. Perhaps most importantly, the Human Resources department is also responsible for ensuring that all applicable Federal, state, and local employment laws are adhered to, such as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA).

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In any health care organization, one of the key departments within the administrative realm is the Human Resources department. Human Resources directors and personnel are primarily responsible for the recruitment, hiring, training, and retention of organizational employees. Further, the Human Resources department within a health care organization is responsible for the management of payroll and benefits, and in the maintenance of employee performance and disciplinary records. Perhaps most importantly, the Human Resources department is also responsible for ensuring that all applicable Federal, state, and local employment laws are adhered to, such as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA). Without the Human Resources department within a health care organization, the administration would not run smoothly, as the responsibility for hiring and other activities would fall on the shoulders of already-harried health care workers.

Services and Personnel
The primary responsibility of the Human Resources department in a health care organization is the recruitment, hiring, placement, and training of new employees. When recruiting new employees for the health care organization, Human Resources personnel must ensure that job advertisements adhere to all Federal, state, and local laws concerning employment opportunity. Moreover, Human Resources personnel must ensure that the job advertisements are carefully crafted so that they catch the attention of attractive prospective employees (Ramadevi et al, 2016). For instance, an advertisement for a unit nurse must make the minimum requirements for the position absolutely clear within the wording; otherwise, the hiring manager may well find him or herself flooded with job applications and resumes from under qualified job candidates.

Within a Human Resources department, the key personnel are the Chief of Human Resources, who functions as the executive leader of the department. The personnel who typically carry out the necessary day to day operations of the Human Resources department will typically involve a recruitment manager, a benefits manager, and a payroll manager. Additionally, a Human Resources department will also include a Chief Compliance Officer, whose primary responsibility it is to ensure that the health care organization is abiding by all applicable Federal, state, and local employment laws. With regards to the manner in which the Human Resources department works with other departments within the health care organization, the Human Resources personnel will typically communicate on a regular basis with the supervisors in all of the departments in order to determine if new employees need to be recruited for that particular department. Additionally, Human Resources personnel will work with the other departments when the need to discipline or terminate a problematic employee arises within the department.

Two Trends that Impact Human Resources
With regards to trends that have directly impacted the Human Resources departments in all United States health care organizations, the most crucial one would be the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as “Obamacare.” The passage of the Affordable Care Act basically changed the rules with regards to the classes of employees who must be offered health care coverage by their employer. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act also changed the manner in which the presentation of such health care benefits must be documented and reported to the Federal government. For a Human Resources department, these new requirements created a great deal more paperwork and data entry than was required in years past, and many health care organizations have hired “Affordable Care Act specialists,” whose sole responsibility it is to ensure that the organization is in full compliance with all of the requirements mandated by the passage of this act.

Another trend that has impacted Human Resources departments in United States health care organizations is the increased scrutiny the Federal government has given to the hiring practices of all organizations throughout the United States, especially with regards to the race, gender, age, and sexual orientation of job seekers. Because of this heightened scrutiny, Human Resources personnel are now required to provide a questionnaire to all job applicants which asks them to record their racial designation, in order to ensure that the health care organization is treating all applicants in a fair, equitable, and lawful manner (Cogin et al, 2016). In some regards, this scrutiny can sometimes place excessive pressure on Human Resources departments to interview as many applicants of a certain background as they can, so as not to attract negative attention from the Federal government, or accusations of being discriminatory in their recruitment and hiring practices.

Capitalizing on Trends
With regards to capitalizing on the above discussed trends as a health care administrator, the first one which was analyzed, the Affordable Care Act of 2010, may no longer be a reality within a few months’ time if the Trump presidential administration gets its way. In the meantime, however, health care administrators can capitalize on the health benefits mandates by offering their full time employees a plan that is superior to the basic requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. While many United States employers are trying to skirt the new requirements by turning their full time positions into part time positions, meaning that they will not be required to offer their employees health insurance, this action is unethical and inhumane, and it demonstrates a complete lack of regard for the ethos of corporate social responsibility. Given that health care organizations are typically held to a higher ethical standard than, say, for profit organizations, it is crucial that the Human Resources departments in a health care organization offer their employees outstanding health benefits packages (Carayon et al, 2014). Additionally, the notion of a health care organization denying its own employees health care benefits would be incredibly hypocritical, and would cast a poor light on the organization.

As regards the trend toward heightened scrutiny of the personal identity of all new hires within a health care organization, administrators can capitalize on this trend by creating an organizational workforce that is reflective of the diversity within its surrounding community. Moreover, a health care administrator can use this trend to work towards creating an organizational culture that values and cherishes diversity, and treats it as a blessing. Overall, all organizational employees and patients will benefit from the incorporation of a diverse workforce in a health care facility.

Conclusion
In any health care organization, the Human Resources department is an exceptionally important aspect of business operations and administration, and its personnel are crucial to ensuring that the entire organization runs as smoothly as possible. The Human Resources department ensures that the most highly qualified and suitable individuals are the ones who are hired for open positions within the health care organization, and they work to ensure that qualified employees are adequately compensated for their efforts, and are provided with benefits packages that are commensurate with the values of the health care organization. Moreover, the Human Resources department works to ensure that all applicable Federal, state, and local laws are adhered to when it comes to employment practices, and the treatment of all existing employees. Finally, the Human Resources department serves as a safety valve whereby employees who are having issues with their immediate supervisor can voice their concerns. In summary, the Human Resources department maintains sanity within a health care organization.

    References
  • Akgün, S., & Al-Assaf, A. F. (2014). Building Sustainable Healthcare Systems: Health Human Resources Planning. Health Care Academician Journal, 1(1), 1-10.
  • Carayon, P., Wetterneck, T. B., Rivera-Rodriguez, A. J., Hundt, A. S., Hoonakker, P., Holden, R., & Gurses, A. P. (2014). Human factors systems approach to healthcare quality and patient safety. Applied ergonomics, 45(1), 14-25.
  • Cogin, J. A., Ng, J. L., & Lee, I. (2016). Controlling healthcare professionals: how human resource management influences job attitudes and operational efficiency. Human Resources for Health, 14(1), 55.
  • Ramadevi, D., Ramadevi, D., Gunasekaran, A., Gunasekaran, A., Roy, M., Roy, M., … & Senthilkumar, S. A. (2016). Human resource management in a healthcare environment: framework and case study. Industrial and Commercial Training, 48(8), 387-393.