Leveraging technology to retain employees during a pandemic

According to the World Health Organization, by 2030, the world will be short of 15 billion healthcare workers.

“We really need urgent action to turn this around,” said Bruce Steinberg, HIMSS international head and managing director, who moderated the closing keynote.”Tomorrow is yesterday: what’s next for the workforce? A Glimpse of the Future of Healthcare at HIMSS22 APAC.

“More importantly, we need to do more to train, recruit and retain the next generation of healthcare workers.”

In this session, Professor Oscar Lee, Vice President and Orthopaedic Surgeon at China Medical University Hospital (CMUH), and Gareth Sherlock, Chief Information Officer, Cleveland Clinic, London, also shared insights on retaining healthcare workers in the midst of a growing infectious disease pandemic .

For Sherlock, the organization’s culture plays a critical role in retaining talent. Early on, the Cleveland Clinic treated everyone in its organization, both clinical and non-clinical staff, as paramedics. “Because in a way, you are directly or indirectly responsible for all the patients we care for,” he said.

In Professor Li’s view, it is important to consider the views of the family members of the medical staff.

According to him, organizations must adopt technologies that can ensure the safety of work during a life-threatening pandemic. “not only [should it be] Tailored for medical staff, but also for patients.technology [must be] Tailored to help medical staff come back. “

In the case of the Cleveland Clinic, the IT project had two considerations: first, it had to make the lives of clinicians and other caregivers easier and more efficient, and second, it had to provide a better patient experience. “If it doesn’t do one of those two, what are you doing it for?” Sherlock said.

Another strategy to retain employees is to provide continuing education. Professor Li shared that CMUH has partnered with the Taiwan Artificial Intelligence School to offer evening courses to equip university faculty and hospital staff with basic concepts and knowledge of artificial intelligence.

Attract global talent

One of the things that attracts medical talent to the Cleveland Clinic, Sherlock claims, is its global healthcare model.

He noted that many hospitals, especially those within the health system, work very independently, and their systems and processes often differ from other hospitals within the same system, frustrating applicants.

“People are drawn to the Cleveland Clinic London Hospital [because] We use the same system and the same process [those] On the main campus or in Abu Dhabi. Some of the technologies we offer are very, very cutting-edge,” explains Sherlock.

At the same time, Prof Li said what sets them apart from other university hospitals in the region is that their facility is an “innovation hub”. He explained that at CMUH, residents are not only able to perform their professional duties, but also have the opportunity to work on health technology programs.

Engaging Everyone in Digital Transformation

In many of the digital transformation projects Sherlock has been involved in in the UK, Middle East and Australia, it has been clinically led. “If they were not clinically led, in my experience, they would not be successful,” he claims.

For example, their clinicians developed a workflow for a stroke program at a hospital in Abu Dhabi, making the facility the city’s stroke center. While the IT team built the system under the program, the clinical team launched it and trained everyone, Sherlock said.

But communication between IT and care teams can be a barrier to digital health transformation.

To solve this problem, Professor Li has been persuading university leadership to teach and mentor medical students with technology.

“They don’t have to be experts in Python; most importantly, they should be able to understand what IT can do for them and help them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sherlock called the informatics department key to connecting IT and clinical teams in digital transformation efforts.

He also recommends that in any IT project, all employees at all levels of the organization must be involved from start to finish.

“They need to be part of the process, so in the end, [they are the] The biggest advocates, they are [who are] Sell ​​programs. “

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