There are almost half a million paid healthcare professionals in Australia. Around 38% of this population is working less than 35 hours per week and 12% are working over 49 hours per week. These numbers tell us that almost half of the professionals in the healthcare industry are either working less or working more, leading to problems in the supply and distribution of the health workforce.

Doctors and other health professionals are no longer as willing to work extended hours. Australia’s healthcare industry has been facing staffing shortages and a scarcity of next-generation skills to become even more customer-centred.

Hospitals and other healthcare institutions are trying to find different ways to retain the quality of service without sacrificing for the sake of their workforce. It doesn’t seem as easy to resolve. However, different factors such as locations, talent category, and the organisation’s values themselves are also to be considered when coming up with better solutions. At the end of the day, people’s wellbeing are on the line, and that’s what makes problems for this industry so unique and challenging, but at the same time very exciting to crack.

Over the years, automation and other technological solutions have started resolving current and future healthcare workforce pain points. Google and DexCom are two companies who have already began providing wearable technology that allows healthcare professionals to monitor their patients even when they’re physically far away. Skype, one of the pioneers of video chat and voice call, started providing practitioners the option to facilitate follow-up appointments through their technology. Surgical Partners is also a group that pitched in the industry. They take care of all the messy backend aspects of healthcare companies – accounting, billings, and system management. Even financial institutions such as Westpac have worked with digital solutions for their healthcare arm. They now offer better cash flow management for professionals and private practitioners alike, further cutting down the pain of managing finances for the healthcare industry.

One of the reasons staffing is a problem for the industry is proximity. Professionals take into consideration the area they will be working in, especially those who have families of their own. A unique solution has been offered by a company called VMORE, where they provide virtual assistance for professionals to start their own private practice.

With these solutions and more in the works, practicing institutions in the industry not only get to manage their business better, but also are filling in gaps of staffing problems. Even if there are many other factors that need addressing to make the healthcare industry better and more attractive to professionals. Little by little, technological solutions are arising to address these pain points.

To know more about healthcare and its innovations, join us this 14-15 June at Beyond 2018. Join our panellists Marcus Wilson (Surgical Partners), Melissa Argent (Westpac Healthcare), and Deana Scott (VMORE) as they discuss how technology is shaping the healthcare industry. Visit www.workforcesuccess.com for more information.