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The University of Utah Healthcare: Compensation’ Strategy


Compensation is the practice of providing monetary value to employees in return for their work. Compensation is an important element of human resources in an organization. It serves different purposes depending on the goals of the organization in question. For instance, besides assisting in recruitment, it may be used to promote job performance and employee satisfaction. For instance, organizations such as Google use competitive compensation to attract and retain qualified employees. Other companies, for instance, Amazon, do not pay great emphasis on compensation. As such, they offer relatively low compensation plans. From the perspective of a caregiver, this paper will discuss the role of compensation at the University of Utah Healthcare (UUHC), a renowned health care system with headquarters in Salt Lake City.

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Description and Background

UUHC was founded in 1905 as an academic medical unit for the University of Utah. From its humble beginnings, UUHC has grown into an advanced healthcare system with four hospitals, ten community clinics, and several specialized centers, for instance, Cancer and Diabetes Centers (University of Utah Healthcare, 2014). Together, the healthcare system has over 1000 physicians who possess diverse qualifications. They deal with over 200 medical specialties. One of the outstanding aspects of UUHC is its focus on providing an effective working environment for its employees. One way this goal is achieved is through employee compensation. According to the Division of Human Resources University of Utah (2010), the healthcare system’s compensation is designed to retain qualified employees while also heeding local, state, and federal regulations. UUHC registers competitive compensation compared to other hospital systems across Utah and the rest of the country.

Strategic Map: UUHC’s Compensation Strategy


As explained earlier, compensation plays various roles in an organization. For UUHC, compensation is one of the main approaches used to drive success. The other objective revolves around quality care (University of Utah Healthcare, 2014). Pay prominence implies that compensation can influence the company’s overall HR strategy, as opposed to being a merely supportive role. At UUHC, competitive salaries enhance aggressiveness, which helps the organization to attract and retain talent. This objective brings about a competitive advantage since the company has the best brains, as well as motivated employees who work in teams to guarantee success.


UUHC has a performance appraisal system where employees are rated based on their input to ensure that quality care is provided to patients. The highly ranked employees/physicians are placed on pay ranks that are higher compared to the rest of their colleagues. As such, employees who are seen as more dedicated to their work earn more relative to their colleagues who post less impressive results. This ranking-based system has two major advantages. First, it ensures internal consistency while promoting external competitiveness. Secondly, lower-ranking employees look up to their colleagues in higher ranks. As such are likely to work hard to attain the same high ranks (Bénabou & Tirole, 2016).


Compensation at UUHC is competitive compared to what other similar organizations pay their employees. The pay depends on the position held. For instance, a nurse practitioner earns an average of $ 159, 000 per year (Public Employee Salaries, 2009). This figure translates to about $13, 250 per month, which is much higher relative to the national average compensation for the same position. Thus, despite being a public organization, UUHC offers competitive compensation to employees. Competitive pay helps to attain work-life balance since employees are well compensated for their input to the organization. The plan enables them to lead a comfortable life. Also, employees are furnished with adequate health insurance to facilitate healthy living. In other words, they are entitled to lucrative retirement benefits.


An increase in pay is provided based on the employee’s input (merit). This approach is adopted to ensure that employees provide quality services to patients. As such, the pay-for-performance approach is encouraged where patients are allowed to reimburse for treatment based on how they rate it.


The compensation policy at UUHC is designed to foster equity among employees. The top management is dedicated to ensuring that compensation principles remain competitive compared to the national standards. State and Federal regulations on compensation are also adhered to attain equity.

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The above information is represented by the below strategic map.


Job Description for My Position

Job title

I am currently a caregiver at the University of Utah Health Care (UUHC).

Job Summary

As a caregiver, I am attached to the UUHC’s Diabetes Center within Salt Lake City. My work involves assisting the physicians in performing diagnosis and operations of patients. I also assist in-patients in taking their medications and ensuring they are comfortable in the hospital. Part of my job also involves ensuring that patients take their meals regularly and that they get enough sleep. Occasionally, my colleagues and I visit the center’s outpatients to check on their recovery progress. Also, I liaise often with the families of outpatients to make sure they are taking their medication as required. Sometimes I sleep late attending to patients well after my shift. This case only happens when a colleague delays for his or her shift.


My supervisor is a senior clinical officer attached to the diabetes center. Apart from reporting to the supervisor, I also report to specific physicians who deal with the patients under my care. From time to time, I need to establish external relationships with the patients’ loved ones in the spirit of monitoring valuable information regarding the patients.


I am a trained nurse with additional skills in guidance and counseling. I have also attended various vocational training regarding how to deal with diabetes type-2 patients and sick people on palliative care.

Essential Responsibilities

My day-to-day responsibilities involve performing minor treatments and diagnosis of diabetes patients, particularly those with diabetes type-2. This role involves working hand in hand with physicians and doctors attached to my unit. When surgeries require to be performed, I assist the surgeons in preparing for the said operation. My duties also involve prescribing medications and administering injections to patients. In the absence of my supervisor, I play the role of the in-charge staff. In this role, I direct my colleagues and juniors on what needs to be done.

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Performance Appraisal

I fully understand the duties and responsibilities that entail my position as a caregiver in a diabetes center. The reason for this claim is that I have not had cases in the past year where I did not fully comprehend a task assigned to me. As such, it was only on a few occasions that I had to seek guidance from the supervisor. For this reason, I would rate the past year as having been good to me. My greatest achievement for the past year was when my colleagues and I counseled a palliative care patient who had resolved to quit taking his medication. Through a concerted effort, we were able to get him to appreciate that he needed the medication and eventually resumed taking them.

Even though my job is challenging at times, I do not have anything I dislike about my organization. The most difficult part of the job is when I have to deal with hostile patients. On the other hand, I always enjoy seeing an in-patient dismissed from the health care ward after making a full recovery. However, I do not like night shifts because I prefer to work during the day. Regarding my personal goals, for the following year, I aim to enlist for a Master’s degree in nursing because in two years I want to work as a clinical officer. I believe joining a master’s degree program will prepare me to handle difficult tasks in my career. For instance, I want to research on the subject of diabetes type-2, including why it has a higher incidence in low socioeconomic communities as compared to middle-class and wealthy people (Piccolo, Duncan, Pearce, & McKinlay, 2015). Consequently, I will use my knowledge to promote treatment at my current place of work. Later in life, I wish to start a private diabetes center to assist more people to access affordable healthcare.


I have learned that different organizations approach the subject of compensation depending on their goals. For example, an organization that wishes to attract high-value employees will offer high compensation. This strategy is also witnessed where the organization wants to foster job satisfaction among its employees. Compensation is not only seen as the means to offer employees a comfortable life but also a vehicle to attaining the goals of an organization. Some organizations lay minimal emphasis on compensation. Instead, they may choose to focus on other HR approaches. This plan does not mean that such organizations do not value their employees. On the contrary, some organizations may offer relatively low compensation while providing an impressive working environment.

However, at UUHC, an emphasis is placed on compensation as a tool for attracting and keeping dedicated employees. Such employees are viewed as capable of driving the health care system’s goal of providing quality care to patients. At the same time, the pay is also used in the hospital to promote equity and internal consistency. I believe quality is an important element of healthcare that cannot afford to be compromised. Although UUHC is a public institution, having a competitive compensation scheme is useful since it helps them to attract the best quality staff. As a result, patients will register positive feedback about the healthcare system’s services.

Notwithstanding, in my current position as a caregiver, I strive to value my input to my duties and responsibilities above compensation because I realize that quality care should not be compromised regardless of how much I earn in my current job. In today’s world, I understand that quality in healthcare cannot be divorced from the aspect of compensation. Business practices inform how healthcare is approached today (Spruit, Vroon, & Batenburg, 2014). Therefore, in the future, increasing competition in the field of healthcare due to the entrance of private healthcare providers will require caregivers to strive to provide quality or risk losing their clients to more competent care providers. This claim also holds for compensation where hospitals that pay low wages are likely to lose their qualified employees to other health centers that offer better compensation. Hence, when I start my private diabetes center, I will use compensation to attract high-value assistants.


Bénabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2016). Bonus culture: Competitive pay, screening, and multitasking. Journal of Political Economy, 124(2), 305-370.

Division of Human Resources University of Utah. (2010). University of Utah: Human resources. Web.

Piccolo, R. S., Duncan, D. T., Pearce, N., & McKinlay, J. B. (2015). The role of neighborhood characteristics in racial/ethnic disparities in type 2 diabetes: Results from the Boston Area Community Health (BACH) survey. Social Science & Medicine, 130(1), 79-90.

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Public Employee Salaries. (2009). Utah’s right to know. Web.

Spruit, M., Vroon, R., & Batenburg, R. (2014). Towards healthcare business intelligence in long-term care: An explorative case study in the Netherlands. Computers in Human Behavior, 30(2), 698-707.

University of Utah Healthcare. (2014). University of Utah Healthcare online physician reviews continue to lead transparency efforts in academic medicine. Web.

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