How Healthcare HR Can Support Their Workplace’s Digital Transformation
The increasing move to digital health sped up during the COVID-19 pandemic, from telehealth to remote work to teleconferences. Many of these changes appear to be permanent, particularly in the healthcare workforce. Embracing digital is no longer optional for long-term success.
Here’s how healthcare HR departments can support their organizations for a successful digital transformation.
Hire and Train Employees for Digital Success
Transforming your healthcare organization means your employees will need to build new skills and adapt to using new tools. Unfortunately, many workers are struggling to keep up with rapid digital changes in healthcare, feeling untrained and unprepared. This can impair their engagement and prevent them from supporting these changes.
“People don't feel they have the skills to do the work they need to, and they feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of data,” says Shenita Freeman, Senior Director of Analytics and Informatics at Centurion, in an article for HealthcareIT News. “For a lot of people who entered the profession, they never thought technology would be linchpin in this way.”
Healthcare organizations must make sure they provide strong training to help their employees build the skills they need for a new digital workforce. This can improve care quality, boost employee engagement, and attract new workers looking for growth-oriented career opportunities.
In addition, employers should look for potential hires with “digital readiness,” which includes qualities such as flexibility and curiosity. This creates a team that is ready to adapt to changes in digital health so that organizations are better prepared for the future.
Apply Data Strategically
Healthcare organizations are using data technology at a rapidly growing rate, and HR data can provide many important insights. Using data to inform HR decisions can help healthcare organizations stay competitive and recruit and retain the best talent.
When tracking data, first identify your priorities and what you want to learn from the data. Keep quality, safety, and engagement in mind, and how those factors interact with each other. This will help determine what data you will collect. Finally, invest in data analytics so you can fully grasp what the data tells you.
Use the Right Tools
Any healthcare organization looking to embrace the post-pandemic hybrid workforce needs a combination of software and hardware. As digital health rapidly expands, however, HR leaders will need to navigate a market full of options and choose their tools wisely.
Artificial intelligence (AI), for example, has enormous potential in the workforce and HR departments in particular. Specialized algorithms can help identify the best applicants or flag potential issues in existing employees. AI software can also help answer questions during the onboarding process.
Rethink Your Employee Benefits
Healthcare employers should make sure that the benefits they offer are appropriate for their evolving workplace. As healthcare workers become more digital, so should their benefits programs. Make sure that employees can take advantage of digital health options as much as patients do.
Besides health coverage and vacation time, benefits can also include options like flexible work schedules. Many employees want a better work-life balance, and offering remote or flexible work hours can make this a reality. This can also increase employee productivity, according to some experts.
After the extraordinary events of 2020, it may be difficult to predict what will happen next in healthcare. If there is one thing that employers can learn from the pandemic and the growth of digital health, it’s the importance of flexibility and the ability to evolve. Employers that are open to changes in the way they manage their workforces can expect to see growth and productivity, preparing them to navigate the next big challenge.