20 Nov, 2017

Is The Workforce In Healthcare Successfully Adapting To Changes?

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It comes as no surprise that the healthcare industry has seen some changes once digital tools have appeared on the industry’s scene. These tools have created new roles, policies, and challenges that the healthcare sector has been forced to adapt to.

Although these new tools have pretty much been successfully integrated into hospitals and other healthcare facilities, there is still a concern among professionals that not every role in the workforce has adapted, and success in the future may be at stake.

“Physician roles are changing as care teams grow and diversify, but this has intended and unintended consequences, Polly Pittman, professor of health policy and management at George Washington University, shared at a summit on the future of care delivery.” Healthcare Dive reports. 

The Change In Healthcare

Of course, whenever a change occurs, in any setting, it usually takes some time for every component involved to adapt. The healthcare industry is no exception. As new digital tools, like electronic health records surfaced into healthcare operations, the question surrounding them became clear. Are they more helpful or harmful to physicians?

This question continues to be asked by professionals, along with the notion that not every healthcare facility is adapting to the digital tools that technology are bringing into the sector.

Along with new digital tools, comes new challenges and demands. Healthcare Dive uncovered some insights found from The Alliance for Health Policy, hosted in Washington D.C.  The panel sought to find answers about just how much the role of the healthcare workforce plays.

Healthcare Dive reported that the industry will see an increase of baby boomers needing more care, creating a new demand for healthcare physicians.

“AAMC estimates that physician demand is growing faster than supply, projecting a total physician shortfall between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians by 2030. In primary care, that number is between 7,300 and 43,100 physicians by 2030.”

Since there will be such a growing demand for physicians, the workforce will need to be familiar with tools like EHR that are used to make workloads less burdensome on professionals, and more organized. Electronic health records were the topic of discussion during the panel, according to Healthcare Dive, and many professionals believe that they have created new duties for the healthcare workforce that is most important to adapt to.

Adapting to new technology like EHR takes time and energy, something that professionals need to have in order to successfully shift practices to include digital components. Since change is coming at a rapid pace, the panelists agreed that the healthcare industry is at a “crossroad.”

“The panelists agreed healthcare is always “at the crossroads.” They cited health economist Uwe Reinhardt, who in the 1980s stated the American healthcare system was at a crossroads. This time, however, Jenike stated the high degree of change is unlike what’s been seen before. The rapid changes “have been coming so fast people are losing focus on why they went into medicine,” he said.” Healthcare Dive reports. 

Change Must Be Taught

In order for the healthcare industry to successfully adopt new digital tools into practices, professionals must be willing to teach and to be taught new things. Going into the digital transformation era with an open mind is key to success when it comes to accepting new change, and since change is happening all around us, it is crucial to be able to be taught.

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