There are increasing indications that jobs-related data may be a valuable evaluation resource for several key committees of the health system board. Such data would include, but would not be limited to, information provided by the Department of Labor and other sources with respect to trends in hiring, jobs creation, the employment rate and the consumer price index.

A critical, but often overlooked, aspect of the duty of care is the obligation to monitor economic conditions (both national and global) and their implications for both the health care industry in general, and the individual health system the board serves. Part of that monitoring can focus on the pulse of the job market, and what employment trends are suggesting. Such data can offer important indications as to general and industry specific financial conditions; about what sectors and business lines are creating the most jobs (e.g. ambulatory care and home health); access to a pool of qualified employees, and the implications of job loss indicators and workforce reductions.

Such data can be useful to the board, particularly as it relates to strategic planning, human resources and talent development oversight responsibilities. The general counsel can help identify how this data can be effectively incorporated into the committee agenda and interpreted by its members.