According to a national survey conducted by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, although healthcare organizations that are in the early stages of digital transformation have already seen tremendous gains, there is more to be done as 92% of respondents believe future technologies will have a substantial impact on the industry.
“Healthcare Perspectives on the Future of Work,” a study by The Workforce Institute and Regina Corso Consulting, examines the current state of digital transformation in healthcare and explores expectations for the future of work from the perspective of three different groups – registered nurses (RN), human resources (HR), and IT professionals – to reveal how hospitals, health systems, and other care facilities can emerge as an employer of choice.
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- With big changes on the horizon, leaders must be ready to help employees navigate the future of work
- By 2025, the majority of HR executives (93%), hospital IT staff (92%), and nurses (89%) expect the healthcare industry will have undergone substantive changes in how it is staffed. Strong leadership will offer an advantage during this period of change, according to 3 in 5 healthcare employees (60%).
- Today, however, just under half (49%) of large health organizations and one-third (33%) of small- and mid-size health organizations have invested in future of work initiatives. These include advanced scheduling tools and practices (17%); artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (14%); process-improvement technology, such as automation (14%); virtualization (12%); electronic medical records/EMR (10%); and modern approaches to training and development (10%), talent acquisition (8%), and employee engagement (6%).
- Among organizations that have yet to take action, one-third of HR executives (32%) say their organization is actively talking about implementing future of work initiatives – but only 20% of nurses are aware that these discussions are taking place. This highlights an important opportunity for HR and healthcare leaders to establish a more consistent approach to communicating future-of-work changes to staff.
- Health organizations that actively invest in the digital employee experience today will emerge as an employer of choice tomorrow
- Almost all HR executives (97%), hospital IT staff (96%), and nurses (95%) say it is important to work for a healthcare organization that actively thinks about the digital experience it offers employees, and half (50%) believe employee experience is directly impacted by an organization’s investment in new technology.
- 3 in 5 nurses (61%), HR executives (56%) and hospital IT staff (56%) agree it is “very important” to work for an employer of choice – however, only 41% of HR executives, 37% of hospital IT staff, and 34% of nurses feel strongly that their organization provides tools and resources that empower them to perform to their fullest potential.
- Automating tasks and activities that distract from taking care of patients will transform the future of healthcare
- According to HR executives (31%), hospital IT staff (26%), and nurses (22%), the future of work is all about improved efficiency – driven by automation and greater workforce productivity – to improve employee engagement and, in turn, patient outcomes.
- Implementing new technology is an ongoing imperative, though it prompts a mix of emotions from staff: 1 in 4 nurses (24%) say it can be stressful, while the same number of IT (25%) and HR (24%) professionals view it as exciting.
- IT (85%), HR (80%), and nurses (65%) would encourage their organization to invest in new technology because of its positive effect on workplace productivity, as well as its ability to improve security (IT: 74%), increase compliance (HR: 69%), and help their organization remain competitive (nurses: 61%). When an organization implements new technology in the workplace, two-fifths of HR executives (42%) and more than one-third of hospital IT staff (36%) and nurses (34%) say it helps them service patients better.
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Nanne Finis, RN, MS, chief nurse executive, Kronos
“Opportunities are endless for healthcare organizations that can identify, create, and capture value in environments of extreme uncertainty. While the individuals we surveyed have all formed their own, independent ideas about the future of work, it is encouraging to see how aligned these three groups are on their expectations for workplace technology, as well as what they expect from employers. Whether investing in future of work initiatives that improve efficiency, help the workforce achieve work-life balance, or arm employees with rapid advances in technology, all will be welcomed by the workforce.”
Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos
“Our research shows that 95% of healthcare employees across nursing, HR, and IT want to work for an organization that actively thinks about the digital experience it offers to its employees – and half are of the mind that investing in new technology will hold the key to creating a better employee experience. Although the future may seem uncertain, one thing is quite clear: People are the future of work. If healthcare employers invest in the workplace to deliver tools, training, and resources that contribute to a better employee experience, then patients and their families will benefit.”