The consumerisation of healthcare is a growing trend, not only in Australia but worldwide. With the evolution of technology, health gadgets are becoming more affordable and consumers are accessing applications and data like never before.
Today, it is becoming common for health data to be saved, swapped and exchanged over a number of different platforms, ready to be shared and uploaded across numerous social media spaces. Consumers can ‘see’ their health in realtime, beautifully visualised across a plethora of mobile applications. Patients are empowered by information, and whether for better or worse, they can ‘Google’ their condition, learn about their condition/s, prognosis, and treatment. This newfound access to information gives consumers an active role in shaping and choosing their care experience. Consumers expect to able to access services and information at their fingertips. Mobile tools are the norm for today’s consumers and healthcare has to meet those expectations to deliver the service that consumers both want and need.
Over the coming years, this will present many opportunities and challenges for healthcare providers and professionals. Undoubtedly, we will see changes in healthcare delivery models to meet new consumer expectations. In turn, this will create hiring challenges as the skills required by the workforce will need to evolve to meet these changes. Going forward, we will see more of an emphasis on customer experience and personalised delivery.
What will this mean for the hiring managers of tomorrow?
With that in mind, we thought we’d open up the discussion with our LinkedIn contacts. We approached healthcare executives across Australia and further afield to explore their views on the consumerisation of healthcare and the hiring challenges that this will create.
Here’s what they had to say.
For the purposes of this article, we have anonymised any answers to protect the identity of our recipients.
Consumer need will go hand in hand with commercial outcomes
A common theme amongst respondents was a subtle change in focus. Consumer needs and digital technology skills will be increasingly important going forward.
“The focus of the organisation should be on what is right for the patient. We need to build the culture and teams that can deliver patient outcomes. The commercial outcomes will then follow. It will be a challenge to hire commercial people who have this focus. Another hiring challenge is to find suitable first line supervisors that can better engage with what the clinician does, and be sensitive to patient needs. It requires a new breed of management moving forward. Hiring for digital and technology skills in healthcare can be challenging, but this is not unique to healthcare.”
Hiring the right staff to make the most of digital
Some respondents highlighted a difficulty in finding professionals with digital skills.
“It’s a challenge hiring people that can really unlock the potential of technology in healthcare. Many are only doing it on a superficial level. They are not really exploiting the potential that technology and data offers for generating meaningful information and highlights.”
There is a headwind of change
“Historically, healthcare as a sector has been an insulated industry preferring to maintain the status quo rather than embracing change. However, with the change in expectations from patients, the greater data and information that is available to them (enabled by technology), there has been a major shift in power to the health consumer. As well, there is a growing pressure from regulatory and quality requirements. At the GM and middle manager level, moving forward, there is a need for a new breed of health manager who can work with the new models of care and provide a better patient experience and be able to engage with clinicians.
However this pool of managers is not keeping pace with demand, plus many are not adaptable to change, as they are not sufficiently tech literate.”
Going forward, we’re going to see the pace of change pick up. For those involved in hiring, this will present unique challenges. To attract talent that is digital ready, hiring managers will need to use tactics that naturally appeal to technology users. Remote hiring tactics such as mobile first job applications, video interviewing, social sourcing, and predictive analytics undoubtedly become more commonplace. As a sector, we will also need to place an emphasis on retaining quality staff who focus on patient outcomes, as well as attracting people from outside healthcare with the tech and digital skills that the healthcare industry desperately needs.