With the current pandemic and aging baby boomers, the entire healthcare industry is facing an increase in demand. In the coming years, the population is likely to increase by 25 million, again indicating the growing need for healthcare services. There is a need for better technology, improved frameworks, and especially more healthcare workers since the shortage of healthcare workers is pervasive in almost every country.
At the same time, a large number of aging physicians are heading towards retirement, and it is essential to replace them with new generation doctors. Therefore, the rise in the global need for healthcare workers is understood, but how to meet this universal need remains a question. Here are some ways which can satisfy the rise in the global demand for healthcare workers.
1. Adopting a Holistic Approach
Almost all the health systems are designed around hospitals and clinics. In the 21st century, it is essential to switch focus towards preventive measures, adopting a holistic approach for healthcare. New systems have to focus on disease surveillance and prevention. Patients also need to install IoT devices at home to ensure they are being monitored at all times.
It would avoid in-patient and emergency room visits since symptoms would be enough to indicate whether patients need help or not. Alongside reducing the burden on healthcare workers, it ensures efficient use of healthcare services on people who deserve the most.
2. Accessible Educational Programs
Do you know how long it takes to become a doctor? Approximately five years excluding residency. These days, however, people want to graduate quickly and kick off their careers right away. Hence, healthcare degrees have to be more accessible with shorter graduating periods. It’s a good time to look into other healthcare careers that don’t get as much attention as those of doctors and nurses. Once you start asking what does a respiratory therapist do, or an X-ray technician do, you will find that some educational institutions offer student’s programs that allow them to enter into different healthcare careers after only one to two years of formal education.
Moreover, these healthcare programs should be available for everyone, rather than only for people who can go to university. Here they can apply the concept of online education by offering degrees online. It allows people to finish their degree by enrolling themselves in nursing programs, mph online program, or associate therapist program.
3. Embracing Technology
Technology is bringing innovations for every sector to make jobs easier and simpler. It offers e-health and e-learning techniques with the simulation of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The internet of things is allowing the healthcare sector to automate tasks, reducing the need for healthcare workers. For instance, – virtual medical records eliminate the need for manual bookkeeping.
Moreover, patients can use personalized wearable devices for home-based care. It assesses medical symptoms, gives reminders for routine checkups, and medicines, eliminating the need for nurses 24/7. Similarly, drone technology and telemedicine strategies are equally effective when it comes to revolutionizing healthcare delivery. Authorities need to devise an impeccable plan to align technology and workforce to satisfy the rising demand for healthcare.
4. Strengthening Government Frameworks
The government plays a huge role in the healthcare industry. It has the power to cope up with increasing demand for healthcare workers while improving the quality of healthcare services. Robust government frameworks can build a foundation for a better system. They can give schooling to people about primary medical education, eliminating the need to rush to hospitals because of a minor fever.
Likewise, they have to spread awareness about the increasing health employment opportunities in the coming years. These factors motivate people to try their luck in the health industry, expanding the workforce. Government frameworks can also include the international exchange of medical services, allowing workers to work anywhere around the globe.
They have to foster public-private partnerships to strengthen institutional models, while the delivery of quality healthcare services to patients. People would see this as an ideal chance to gauge competitive pay-scales, encouraging them to step in the field of healthcare.
5. Rebalancing Tasks
Believe it or not, most of the healthcare systems lack efficiency. Practitioners and nurses are under-utilizing their skills. The OECD survey suggests, 79% of nurses and 76% of doctors are performing tasks for which they are overqualified. This global evidence of weak utilization of skills is enough to start reorganizing jobs for the workforce.
Systems have to ensure the rational distribution of tasks that are pertinent to the skill of workers. This will open doors for effective management, especially for high burden diseases. Furthermore, some training programs can work like magic. Nurses and general practitioners can equip themselves with some new skills – live-saving procedures and recognizing acute conditions.
Alongside reducing the dependency on a limited number of specialists available, it makes processes quicker. Besides, when everyone would be using their skills to the potential, it will reduce the need for more healthcare workers.
The global pandemic and increase in a population provide sufficient evidence for increasing demand for healthcare workers. The real challenge lies in fulfilling this demand at the earliest possible to accommodate as many patients as possible. It is time to implement steps to augment healthcare workforce productivity while taking relevant measures pursuing people to move towards healthcare.
It could be either through making people aware of the opportunities this sector holds for them or through strengthening health reforms. Have a look above for some ways to satisfy the rise in the global need for healthcare workers.