Health systems are facing severe workforce challenges – not only with the increase in demand, but the growing complexity of care. Health care has not exploited the opportunities that technology offers as much as other sectors; opportunities that could potentially solve some of the workforce issues.
Even if the large numbers of staff that would be needed to fulfil the demand were available, the cost would be prohibitive, which poses a huge productivity challenge for health care systems.
Multi-morbidity, the growing complexity of care, the need for much better coordination, concerns about safety and the difficulty of keeping up with the rapid changes in medicine means that there are serious quality concerns as well.
A report by KPMG, Value Walks, set out the dilemma of increasing demand for health services with dwindling resources, alongside the need to improve quality and productivity.
To date, health care has not exploited the opportunities of technology to improve productivity and quality to anything like the same extent as other sectors.
We are working alongside KPMG to look at:
• how technology is being used to improve workforce productivity
• what the future opportunities to do this are
• how organisations should be thinking about preparing for this
• how opportunities to improve productivity through technology compare with other methods for improvement.
This work will involve examining the range of opportunities that technology offers, including automation of tasks, decision support, ways to improve flow, shifting to phone or online self-service patient care, deployment of electronic record systems, and tools for work planning.
Our research will include literature reviews, interviews with industry experts and senior health care leaders, identifying case studies and good practice examples, and holding roundtables to test ideas and opportunities.