As it stands today, 33 states and Washington D.C. have authorized the medical use of marijuana. Eleven of those states and Washington, D.C also allow the personal ‘adult-use’ of marijuana.  With 2020 being a presidential election year, efforts to include marijuana on this years’ ballot are rampant! While most of the past marijuana laws where approved by a majority vote of the people, a trend that we expect to see more are legalization efforts through state Legislature actions. 

Healthcare HR professionals face sweeping changes in medical care delivery, evolving technology standards, staff shortages and shifting workforce demographics. Additionally, the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brings its own set of challenges for the immediate future.

Patient Safety Awareness Week, which runs March 8-14, encourages healthcare providers, organizations, patients, and the general public to learn about local and global healthcare safety issues. 

Healthcare safety issues, or “medical harm,” are a significant cause of death in the United States. Even when such errors do not result in death, they can still have long-term negative effects on a patient’s health and finances. Patient Safety Awareness Week is an opportunity for healthcare organizations to consider the potential causes of medical harm and how to prevent it.

With legal marijuana use laws continuing to make traction throughout the U.S., and the perception of a dwindling job applicant pool, some employers are asking if they should continue to conduct screening for marijuana. Some employers are also challenging the entire idea of performing drug testing in their workplaces.  Is there still a benefit to having a drug-free workplace program?

In short, the answer is, “YES!”  Why? Because the risks of not testing are real. There is no mystery why this is so, look at the latest statistics:

The healthcare industry is in a constant state of change, driven in part by regulatory developments. Resisting or avoiding such change could result in financial penalties and other negative consequences for healthcare organizations.

Lifelong learning can help HR and other healthcare professionals develop the resilience and flexibility to adapt to such changes. With lifelong learning, healthcare professionals contribute to their professional long-term success, and that of their organizations.

Talent recruitment and retention remain among the top challenges facing healthcare organizations in the new decade. According to a SHRM survey, 46% of HR professionals rated highly skilled medical positions as very difficult to fill.

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is facing a hiring crisis. An aging population has increased demand for health services, while the supply of healthcare workers is in decline or leveling off. Amid these challenges, healthcare recruiters are struggling to find quality candidates.

Employee turnover comes at a high cost, especially in healthcare. In 2017, turnovers in nurse staffing cost the average hospital between $4.4 million and $7 million. And the research shows that turnover is more of a risk when dealing with new hires. In 2018, more than 32 percent of new hires lasted less than one year. 

Many states are anticipating severe nursing shortages in the next few years, with some states projected to have nurse employee deficits of more than 10,000. As the patient population ages and increases, appropriate staffing poses a problem for healthcare HR teams.

Ringing in a new year brings new requirements for employers managing their workplace drug and alcohol screening programs. From state-specific laws to changes at the federal level, it is critical to understand these changes and make the appropriate internal adjustments to ensure your compliance.

State Laws

Several states, and one city, have new laws that employers must comply with here in the new year. Below is a summary of the significant changes:

Illinois

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