Healthcare’s workforce must adapt to innovation

care team

As new care innovations and payment models continue to change the healthcare industry, the workforce must adapt with it, according to a new commentary.

There are several key roles and skills that will be essential in the years ahead, write Steven Lipstein, president and CEO of BJC Healthcare, and Arthur Kellermann, M.D., dean of the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, in the Journal of the American Medicine Association.

“The U.S. health system will need to recruit, educate and sustain a diverse health and healthcare workforce that is capable of working collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams, is technically skilled and can adeptly implement the capabilities of modern health information technology,” they write.

The workforce will need:

  • Clinicians and other professionals that can steward health and healthcare. These staff members must work together as a multi-disciplinary team to coordinate care. and drive innovation and quality improvement, according to the article.
  • Leadership in telehealth. Telehealth initiatives cut down on unneeded hospital visits and can help patients at home with medication adherence and other concerns post-discharge,, so it’s essential to have team members than can effectively run those programs.
  • Clinicians to manage acute care and chronic conditions. Reorganizing clinical staff to focus in specific areas can improve efficiency and care quality, according to the commentary. Much like targeting patients with acute needs, having doctors who work with patients with chronic conditions can better help them manage their illnesses, according to the article.
  • Caregivers at the end of life. The system must invest in palliative care and other clinicians to assist patients at the end of life, according to the commentary. This would improve care and also lessen the burden on health professionals who work with a wide variety of patients.