Young healthcare workers see tech's potential to reduce workloads

Wednesday, 11 November, 2020

Young healthcare workers see tech's potential to reduce workloads

Healthcare professionals across the world have experienced unprecedented challenges and working conditions in the face of the global pandemic. COVID-19 has increased workloads, increased stress, and added new responsibilities to the working lives of young healthcare professionals.

A report conducted during the onset of pandemic reveals that, even before COVID-19 became part of our vocabulary, health care was in need of radical change. The Future Health Index 2020 report can be used as a tool to uncover the needs of the next generation of healthcare professionals, providing insights into how to support and empower them.

The Future Health Index explores medial staff sentiments prior to the pandemic and highlights opportunities for transforming the delivery of health care that are relevant to the current state of the sector.

The report focuses on the gaps in healthcare education and training, harnessing technology to help transform health care and creating the ideal healthcare working environment.

Based on research conducted across 15 countries, including Australia, the report contains feedback from close to 3000 participants under the age of 40, including general practitioners, specialists and nurses.

Exploring new ways of working that involve streamlining hospital processes and leveraging digital capabilities have the potential to help mitigate overwhelming workloads these issues now and in the future.

“The new generation of healthcare professionals are entering a world of rapid change,” Philips General Manager ANZ Matt Moran said.

“Digital technologies and virtual care are shifting how healthcare providers operate and the future of patient care.

“Looking to the future, there is a significant opportunity for junior healthcare professionals to embrace these technologies and upskill to meet these new parameters.”

Key report findings from the Australian market

  • Australian healthcare professionals under the age of 40 see digital health technologies as key for streamlining work efficiencies — 92% said that technology had the potential to reduce workload and 73% said they expected the right technology to be adopted to decrease their stress levels.
  • Australia’s next generation of healthcare professionals recognise the value of artificial intelligence (AI), believing that it will improve patient care and outcomes. 77% of respondents said that AI can provide them with the tools needed to keep patients healthy, 77% said AI will provide patients with more accurate diagnoses and 70% said AI will allow them to offer personalised care to their patients.
  • 33% of respondents felt that lack of interoperability across systems and platforms is one of the main barriers to ensuring that healthcare data is used to its full potential.
  • Workplace culture is extremely important to Australia’s younger healthcare professionals. A culture of collaboration and professional autonomy are top of the list when deciding on a practice or hospital to work in.

Report recommendations

Education and training
  • Increase focus on administrative and business management to reduce the burden on healthcare professionals.
  • Provide training on the use and interpretation of technology and data.
  • Build an understanding of the principles of value-based care.
  • Invest in data-sharing technologies to make them more usable.
  • Harness technology to improve both work-life balance and clinical performance.
  • Work with payers and government to encourage the industry to deliver greater product interoperability.
  • Examine decision-making hierarchy and process to ensure that opinions of younger healthcare professionals are acknowledged and acted upon.
  • Involve younger professionals in the operational side of the hospital or practice.
  • Enable flexible working through staggered shift patterns.
  • Leverage technology to minimise stress and burnout.

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