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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Using gap analysis to identify and prioritize allied health workforce needs

Timothy Bates, MPP and Susan A. Chapman, PhD, RN. Center for Health Professions, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Suite 410, San Francisco, CA 94118, (415) 502-4191, tbates@thecenter.ucsf.edu

In most regional and local health care markets, there is a growing concern about an inadequate supply of allied health workers. Shortages of workers in imaging technologies, the clinical laboratory, respiratory care, and other critical health care services are beginning to be addressed alongside the nursing shortage. However, the lack of standardized, detailed data, hamper efforts to understand fully workforce needs. We developed a method of conducting a gap analysis using publicly available data. The purpose is to assist policy makers and workforce development professionals prioritize the labor market needs of their regional/local markets. Estimates of future demand come from employment projections data developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Estimates of future supply come from completions data available through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

IPEDS data was collected, cleaned, and summarized for California institutions in the period 1995-2004. We used this as a base to project an aggregate supply for a period corresponding to the demand projections (2002-2012). We calculated the difference between the 2002 benchmark estimate of employment and the 2012 projected estimate of employment. We then compared this number with our projection of aggregate supply. The difference between the two revealed a potential shortage, oversupply, or balanced conditions. We present data from the gap analysis showing the magnitude of potential shortages for several critical allied health professions: Respiratory Therapists, Radiologic Technicians, and Medical Laboratory Technologists/Technicians.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Workforce, Health Care Workers

Related Web page: futurehealth.ucsf.edu/alliedhealth.html

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Improving the Health Workforce: Issues and Opportunities

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA