Marsh & McLennan Advantage Insights logo
Conversations and insights from the edge of global business
Menu Search
In Practice

Addressing People Risks in the US Health Care Industry

The New Shape of Work interview series addresses the challenges and uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus with a focus on how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.

Throughout the pandemic, the health care industry has faced a variety of significant risks from rising demand for service, rapid technology adoption and a workforce on the front line of the pandemic response.

In this conversation, John Derse, Healthcare Industry Vertical Leader at Mercer, and Gigi Norris Health Industry Expert from Marsh focus on the accelerated people risks health care providers experienced during the peak of COVID crisis — risks which continue today. They also share the complex challenges and risks the health care provider industry is facing now, and their ideas on how providers can address those issues now and in the near future.

Key Insights

On why action is needed:

“The consequence of shrugging your shoulders [and assuming the workforce challenges will pass] is so dire because burnout and staffing levels have such a direct impact on errors that can be experienced by patients if staff is not adequately prepared, or is not sufficient in numbers to deal with the patient population that they are handling.”

On the complexity of the situation:

“Waiting for a fix is tempting because the solution, [and] the approach, is hard and it’s different. It’s harder than anything this industry has really had to try before because there’s no silver bullet. There’s no one thing that an organization can do. It is a combination of things woven together around the work environment around the individual employee experience. Around the work itself in terms of how it’s designed, and skills versus jobs and agility. These are all things that are going on now, but it’s complex.”

On approaching solutions:

“Organizations really now are starting to take a step back to understand what are the tasks, what is the body of work that needs to be done, and how do we organize our skills and people that can up-skill to fill some of these important critical needs that we’re going to have going forward.”

On the importance of job satisfaction:

“Stress claims in workers’ compensation are also something that you see affected by understaffing, and by burnout. People become so stressed that they have to take time off work. All these things are related. Which is one of the things I really liked about what John is saying with regards to looking at new skills, it also provides the potential to give people more job satisfaction which is a counterpoint to a lot of what we’re seeing in terms of burnout and stress.”

Gigi Norris

Gigi Norris

Managing Director, US HealthCare Practice Leader at Marsh

Gigi Norris is a managing director and leads the US HealthCare Practice of Marsh. Gigi brings more than 25 years of experience to her role creating innovative risk solutions to help providers and payers achieve organizational and financial objectives. She also holds a Doctorate in Public Health, with a concentration in epidemiology, and has provided counsel on preventing and mitigating infectious disease risk to a diverse range of industries. Gigi leads all aspects of our HealthCare Practice, driving growth opportunities and delivering risk mitigation strategies, developing industry content and thought leadership, and bringing Marsh’s risk and digital solutions to clients and prospects.

John Derse

John Derse

Senior Partner / Health Care Industry Vertical Leader at Mercer

John Derse, located in Charlotte, NC, is a Senior Partner and leads Mercer Health Provider Advisory, Mercer’s health care industry vertical. His consulting is in the area of People Strategy which includes strategy, alignment/change management and workforce analytics and rewards providing clients with “end to end” strategic advice concerning the design, implementation and operation of human capital and the HR function.

Get ahead in a rapidly changing world. Sign up for our daily newsletter. Subscribe