During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers were rightly hailed as heroes for their brave work fighting the virus on the frontlines. The challenge in healthcare isn’t that hospital clinicians and administrators aren’t willing, skilled, or talented – it’s that there simply aren’t enough of them. In this article, we’ll look at the hiring frenzy in this industry and explore some ways that technology can upskill new employees quicker.
In a compelling report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that employment across all healthcare occupations will grow by around 15 percent during the next decade, a rate the authors described as “much faster than the average for all occupations.” This means that by 2030, around 2.4 million new jobs will have been created in healthcare. From clinicians to lab technicians, paramedics to physiologists, and phlebotomists to physicians’ assistants, just about every job type you can think of in the healthcare sector needs to add to its employee numbers.
Clinical staff like doctors and nurses are those that are most visible in any healthcare organization because they’re the ones we see when we go in for a checkup, a surgical procedure, or an annual physical. Yet there’s an army of support staff behind the scenes who keep billing, scheduling, and other vital functions running smoothly. A poll conducted by MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) found that almost two-thirds of survey respondents – 61 percent – indicated that their facility needed to bring more non-clinical staff on board.
Making the Most of Personnel Investments
This creates challenges for HR staff to identify, interview, and hire candidates faster than ever before, while maintaining the quality levels needed to provide optimal patient care and service. But the biggest hurdle for healthcare employers to clear is getting their new staff up to speed so that they can hit the ground running as soon as possible. The longer this takes, the greater the delay in the hospital, physician’s practice, or dental office recouping its investment will be.
Traditional training methods like classroom learning and medical residencies go some way to preparing clinical and support staff to contribute from day one. But there can still be gaps in their learning. Every healthcare facility has its own unique policies and procedures, so even when they bring in experienced new hires, there’s still bound to be a learning curve to some degree. As such, healthcare employers need to find ways to simplify and expedite their training processes and scale them across the influx of new hires that they’re expecting in the coming weeks, months, and years. It’s no use bringing in new people if you can’t empower them to contribute.
Accelerating New Hire Training
The challenge with in-person learning is that it involves an individual or small group watching what an expert is doing. This presents three different limitations. First, such interactions cannot be scaled across a large intake group of new employees. Second, it requires an existing staff member to take time out of their day. And third, trainees are on someone else’s schedule. If they can’t make it to the training session for whatever reason, they’ll have to wait until the next time the opportunity arises. A multi-facility health system could be hiring hundreds of new employees at any one time, which makes such a system inadequate.
This is where video-based learning can come into play. Rather than having to host recurring sessions, an expert can record themselves just once. An AI-driven platform like DeepHow via Stanley X can then chop the footage up into digestible learning chunks and automatically add on-screen captions. For those who don’t speak English as their first language, multi-lingual support automatically translates this text into multiple languages. Video clips can then be made available to new hires in any location, who can learn at their own pace while at work or at home.
In this way, healthcare organizations can create accessible and intuitive learning programs that allow an unlimited number of new hires to upskill quickly and simultaneously. In doing so, they’ll be able to perform the patient-focused and administrative tasks they were hired for sooner, while their employers keep pace with the rapidly expanding workforce. Healthcare is moving at the speed of now, and it’s time for skilled employee training to catch up.