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Mentoring health information professionals in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Health Data Systems in the Veterans Health Administration in Washington, DC, USA.


As a major employer of health information professionals, the VA faces significant recruitment and retention challenges. The authors evaluated mentoring as a retention tool through a review of existing literature and the retrospective review of a VA health information management mentoring program. The literature review showed a link between employer mentorship and employee retention, regardless of the nature and structure of the mentoring relationship. Most organizations support employees who are willing to serve as mentors through increased compensation, recognition, and other types of support. No literature was found that studied retention rates for more than three years after a mentoring experience. The review of the VA mentoring program showed increased retention in the three years following enrollment in the program, but the increase was not statistically significant. The review did not demonstrate improvement in retention over a seven-year period. The combined evaluation gives mixed findings for mentorship as a retention tool and demonstrates the need for more research on the topic.


Recruitment; coaching; employee engagement; employment; human resources; mentor; mentorship; public sector; retention; work force

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