Upskilling of the Healthcare Workforce: A Pertinent National Healthcare Issue Affecting Healthcare Organizations in the United States Upskilling of the Healthcare Workforce Essay
There are many national healthcare stressors or issues affecting and impacting healthcare organizations all over the United States. All of them require addressing, although some are more urgent than others. The healthcare issue chosen in this case and one of the most significant stressors at the moment is the issue of upskilling of healthcare professionals. In this context, these would be the nurses working within the healthcare organization. According to Ross (2019), upskilling is the process of retraining employees so that they can acquire new skills for them to continue practicing in their field with ease. Recent developments (particularly technological) within and around healthcare have necessitated the requirement that workers such as nurses possess skillsets that are upgraded. As a matter of fact, upskilling was identified as one of the six important healthcare issues in 2019 by PwC Health Research Institute (Ross, 2019). Currently, whole healthcare workforces are threatened with redundancy by technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) if they do not upskill. This includes nurses, who have traditionally not been involved with technology in the course of delivering nursing care (Teague, 2019).
The impact to my healthcare organization of upskilling as a healthcare issue is immense. This is because emerging healthcare technologies are becoming more and more mandatory in diagnostics, therapeutics, and nursing care. Nurses are therefore finding themselves short of skills to deliver quality patient care. This makes the organization set aside resources to retrain and upgrade the skills of its nurses so that they can cope with the emerging technological changes. This, however, is an inevitably resource-intensive undertaking fir the organization. In my organization, for instance, the policy makers have already had to set aside funds for training of the nurses and other healthcare staff on the use of the recently introduced EHR. Already, upskilling is happening in the healthcare sector with the now standard requirement for electronic health records or EHR. That said, the hallmark of upskilling in healthcare is predicted to be artificial intelligence-assisted telehealth interventions (Teague, 2019) Upskilling of the Healthcare Workforce Essay.
Some of the Areas of Concern
Healthcare organizations must invest in the abilities of their workforce if they are to have a competitive advantage over their peers. Not doing so will of course render the organization unable to compete effectively in an ever-changing healthcare marketplace. For instance, AI is more and more used in healthcare at the moment. What this means is that rising sophistication of emerging medical technologies is driving the need for upskilled health workers (Ross, 2019) Upskilling of the Healthcare Workforce Essay. The advent of digital therapeutics is the other area of concern. This is the treatment of disease using healthcare technologies to complement or replace traditional methods in disease management. The reality is that the clinical validation of these digital therapeutics products and connected medical devices is already being done by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA (Siwicki, 2019). This is an indicator of the urgency with which upskilling of healthcare staff like nurses should be treated Upskilling of the Healthcare Workforce Essay.
Two Articles on the Upskilling of Healthcare Workers as a Healthcare Issue of Concern
Rimmer (2018) has posited that doctors have to undergo additional training in order to be successful at using emerging healthcare technologies. This particular article addresses doctors as the healthcare workers of concern, but it has been chosen because the very same situation is true for the nurses. This article talks of a report that states that training is needed by doctors in areas such as artificial intelligence algorithms, genomics, and digital literacy. As mentioned above, that is the same treatment that nurse practitioners should also receive. The article goes ahead to stress that training is a must for healthcare staff in order to cope with emerging healthcare technologies.
Fralic (2013) on her part observes that the American healthcare system is undergoing change that is radical and monumental. She states, correctly, that with change there is need to re-strategise and re-organize to deliver quality healthcare. To do this, upskilling is a must to keep up with healthcare technologies. In other organizations in the healthcare sector, the same situation portends. They, too, are adopting the same approach of retraining to upskill nurses, doctors, and other health workers so that they can cope with the recent technological changes and continue to offer quality and safe patient care Upskilling of the Healthcare Workforce Essay.
Strategies to Address the Organizational Impact of Upskilling
Since the reality of upskilling in healthcare organizations is inevitable, it is essential to develop strategies that aim at addressing the organizational impact of this issue. Three strategies are especially helpful. First, the organization needs to introduce new technologies gradually to allow for adaptation and training. Second, upskilling should be made a policy initiative that features in the organization’s goals. Third and last, upskilling should be properly budgeted for like any other expense if it is to succeed (Fralic, 2013; Rimmer, 2018; Teague, 2019). Under no circumstances should upskilling be considered as an afterthought. These strategies impact my organization positively in that they are geared towards giving the organization a competitive advantage. On the negative side, however, budgeting means that this strategy will consume resources that the organization must set aside. Upskilling of the Healthcare Workforce Essay.
Fralic, M.F. (2013). Upskilling for new-era healthcare: Lessons from high impact readings. Nurse Leader, 11(4). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mnl.2013.05.008
Rimmer, A. (2018). Upskill doctors to make the most of new medical technologies, report says. BMJ, 361(k2861). Doi: 10.1136/bmj.k2861
Ross, J.R. (2019). Upskilling could be an ideal treatment for healthcare’s employment woes. Retrieved 4 March 2020 from https://www.cardiovascularbusiness.com/topics/healthcare-economics/upskilling-could-be-ideal-rx-healthcares-employment-woes
Siwicki, B. (2019). Here are 6 major issues facing healthcare in 2019, according to PwC. Healthcare ITNews. Retrieved 4 March 2020 from https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/here-are-6-major-issues-facing-healthcare-2019-according-pwc
Teague, T. (2019). Will healthcare employees need to be upskilled or reskilled as technology advances? Retrieved 4 March 2020 from https://www.whatisbluesky.com/blog/will-healthcare-employees-need-to-be-upskilled-or-reskilled-as-technology-advances Upskilling of the Healthcare Workforce Essay