Healthcare increasingly requires a tech-savvy workforce

The rise of technology in healthcare is creating new roles within the industry and requiring doctors and nurses to be tech-savvy as well, according to a story in Financial Times.

Senior executives don't necessarily have to be technology specialists, but technological strategies play key roles in their efforts to cut costs and increase efficiency. The hospital C-suite increasingly includes a chief analytics officer, a chief transformation officer or a chief information security officer. Leaders need to keep up with mobile apps, wearables, sensors, data analytics and wireless medical devices. Surgeons increasingly use computer consoles and robotic tools using cameras that display images on a high-resolution screen during surgery. Managing electronic records and analyzing the data generated by remote patient monitoring devices are calling for new sets of skills, according to the article.

Home-based care calls for people who can manage the networking technology to connect doctors and patients remotely.

"As we move from data collection and implementation of [electronic medical records] systems to the point where we need analytics to improve patients outcomes, that whole increase in data analytics is going to produce a lot of new jobs in the market," said Jim Utterback, who leads the health IT practice for executive search firm Witt/Kieffer.

Dick Daniels, Kaiser's executive vice president and chief information officer, calls technology essential to providing effective care. In addition to its deep use of analytics to improve case and cut costs, Kaiser is focusing technology on improving the customer experience as well, by digitizing membership cards, creating express check-ins for appointments and allowing patients to use videoconferencing to contact caregivers from mobile phones and hospital beds.

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