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ACHE: Workforce challenges again cited by CEOs as top issue confronting hospitals in 2023

Graphic courtesy of ACHE

February 9, 2024 Workforce challenges ranked No. 1 on the list of hospital CEOs’ top concerns in 2023, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives’ (ACHE) annual survey of top issues confronting hospitals. ACHE is an international professional society of more than 48,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations.

Financial challenges ranked second in the 2023 survey, and behavioral health/addiction issues ranked third. This is the second consecutive year that workforce challenges, financial challenges and behavioral health/addiction issues have ranked as the top three issues.

Workforce challenges is a category of concerns introduced to the survey in 2022 to better represent the multitude of workforce-related issues hospitals face. The category includes personnel shortages, which was hospital CEOs’ top-ranked issue in 2021, as well as staff burnout, among other workforce issues.

This marks the third year in a row that workforce or personnel challenges have been the top-ranked issue. Before that, financial challenges ranked first in the survey for 16 consecutive years.

The survey results indicate that workforce challenges continue to be hospitals’ main concern in their efforts to provide safe, high-quality care. Addressing these critical workforce issues requires immediate action, such as supporting and developing all staff, organizing services to reflect today’s labor market and exploring alternative models of care. It also calls for longer-term solutions, including creative partnerships, such as those with colleges, to grow the number of nurses and technicians and strengthen the workforce pipeline.

Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE, president and CEO of ACHE

In the survey, ACHE asked respondents to rank 11 issues affecting their hospitals in order of how pressing they are and to identify specific areas of concern within each of those issues. The survey was sent to 1,285 community hospital CEOs, of whom 241, or 19%, responded. The issues cited by survey respondents are those of immediate concern and do not necessarily reflect ongoing hospital priorities.

View the 2023 data for Top Issues Confronting Hospitals at ACHE.