The pandemic has forced us to take a closer look at the organization of work in healthcare, and in the last two years we have seen healthcare organizations use digital to adopt new ways of working.

The first intention was to ensure access to care and continuity and to protect patients and staff from infection. But over time, new digitally activated working archetypes evolved and matured, which led to Future of work and helping to solve or mitigate some of the problems that have long plagued European healthcare.

Workforce pressure intensified by COVID-19

In terms of labor pressure, COVID-19 has exacerbated a situation that was already borderline. For example, the NHS of the United Kingdom started in 2020 with a shortage of nearly 100,000 employees.

COVID-19 has increased the impact of insufficient health workforce strategies, which is now reflected in quality and access to care. A significant number of NHS trusts in England have declared official “critical incidents” to reduce routine care services and focus on life-threatening situations.

The Court of Auditors and a recent parliamentary inquiry have shown that the NHS is no longer able to meet the quality standards of patient care on the waiting list for cancer treatment.

The emotional and physical stress of the last two years has forced medical and medical staff to leave the profession. IN A study by the British Medical Association found that half of the responding physicians expected to work fewer hours, with another 21% planning to leave the NHS entirely.

In Germany around 14,000 jobs for nurses remain vacant in 2021, as well as another 8,000 jobs in the intensive care units. According to the Association of German Hospitals, inadequate staffing levels have led to the temporary or permanent closure of some intensive care units.

Healthcare needs a strategic approach to managing medical and medical staff, work patterns and employee experience. These needs need to be addressed in the broader context of rapidly changing organizational and care models, technologies and expectations of today’s workforce, which currently sees four generations working together.

Digital strategies for hybrid work models in healthcare

While digital technologies alone cannot solve the problem, the experience of the pandemic has taught us that they must be part of the strategy. 70% of the European health organizations we interviewed said so staff productivity is one of the most influential areas of digital investment in the last 12 months.

“Hybrid” work models have helped protect, support and improve the work of doctors and nurses. Telemedicine and remote patient monitoring systems, clinical collaboration platforms and workflow automation solutions, when planned and implemented by clinicians, have made it possible to better manage workloads, reduce repetitive tasks and improve quality. of patient interaction.

We estimate that by 2025, 50% of healthcare organizations worldwide will do so rely on “hybrid” models of work to combat burnout, reformulate roles and tasks and improve work experience.

However, in European healthcare, staff experience seems to be less of a priority: less than 30% of European healthcare organizations have told us that they prioritize investment in this area in 2022 (IDC Health Insights European Survey, January 2022). N = 315). In Italy, one of our studies, commissioned by Salesforce, showed that although doctors are considered to be among the main beneficiaries of related health solutions, they are the least involved in the process of selecting and implementing them.

Meanwhile, the benefits of digital investment in both patient and clinician solutions can be significantly reduced if the perspectives and experience of clinicians are not taken into account.

The future of healthcare work is not in digitally reproducing existing processes. Rather, it is about innovation along with the workforce.

For example, design methodologies can help pay more attention to how information is used in care processes and how healthcare professionals interact with clinical information systems. It is also about the dynamic integration of information that comes from human resource management systems, talent management and skills development.

Investing in people

About 40% of the European health organizations we interviewed invest in human analysis and performance management solutions. However, these investments must be included in broad modernization strategies of health organizations. Our research shows that organizations that have taken such a holistic approach have been the most resilient during the pandemic.

An end-to-end strategy for engaging and empowering the workforce may not be at the top of the European healthcare agenda at the moment, but we expect a rapid evolution of Future of work topic over the next 12 months.

Across Europe, government policies are setting new strategic directives, such as those outlined in the NHS’s “Strategy for People” and the “People’s Plan” in England. Here, digital is emerging as a key factor in sharing and improving knowledge, developing multidisciplinary work models, improving staff experiences and attracting talent and skills. Similarly, the French national digital health agency has just launched the Structures 3.0 initiative, which supports investment in digital solutions that facilitate the work of health professionals.

We see many examples demonstrating how the success of digital health strategies is determined by the ability to engage and create value to people and their relationships. This is certainly true for patients, but the equation must also include health professionals and the evolution of their work patterns, experiences and expectations.

We will look at these and many other hot topics in European healthcare during ours IDC European Healthcare Executive Digital Summit 2022 On May 18, 2022. If you have not registered, there is still time to do so. We are waiting for you on board!

For more information on how to register for the summit, please contact us Barbara Cambieri or Charlotte Tigesen Poulsen.

To learn more about our upcoming research program, please contact us Sylvia Piay, Adriana Alocatoor Nino Giguashvili.

The Future of Work in European Healthcare: From Exhaustion to Empowerment

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