Healthcare is one of the most critical industries, but it is currently facing severe labor shortages. An article on Healthcare Finance News reports that the staffing and skills shortage can be gleaned from the staggering rise in vacancies for the in-demand role of nursing, growing as much as 351% compared to 2022. The talent shortage is also prevalent among highly skilled specialist roles like coroner and audiologist, where vacancies surged nearly nine times within a year.
Aside from increasing salaries and offering flexible working hours, upskilling also proves to be a viable way to address the skills gap in the competitive healthcare industry. Since upskilling focuses on additional education and training opportunities, it can boost retention rates among healthcare professionals and improve the overall industry through the following ways.
Supports career development
When healthcare workers are not adequately recognized and supported in the workplace, they are more likely to quit their roles, further compounding the current talent shortage. However, upskilling can provide career development opportunities that reduce turnover rates and incentivize professionals to stay with their employers. To illustrate, the educational platform ShiftMed has partnered with Dignity Health Global Education (DHGE) to enable healthcare workers like nurses to grow their skill sets and advance in their careers. The upskilling programs offered by the platform include a master’s degree in nursing, nurse leadership, and mentoring for residency and preceptorship. Instead of feeling trapped in their roles, nurses can look forward to expanding their professional journeys and staying committed to the healthcare industry.
Facilitates digital transformation
The adoption of new technologies has streamlined operations across industries, with healthcare being no exception. As such, upskilling professional capabilities can come in the form of educational courses that highlight the relevant and in-demand tech skills in today’s healthcare industry. Under the expert-led tech training of LHH, these include data analytics that provide insights for more informed and strategic clinical decisions, as well as data science that doctors and nurses can utilize for monitoring, analyzing, and predicting patients’ health data. By equipping healthcare professionals to better adopt and adapt to new technologies, digital transformation becomes easily integrated into the workflows and processes of health institutions.
Improves patient outcomes
When clinics and hospitals are able to digitize their operations through tech-oriented upskilling, the benefits extend beyond easing the hours and workload of healthcare professionals. Updating employees’ tech skills can also translate into improved patient outcomes since facilities can now deploy the latest telehealth trends. While labor shortages have increased patient waiting times both in-person and via telehealth, healthcare workers can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots to automate administrative tasks like scheduling appointments and answering queries. This skill then frees up their time for more complex tasks in patient care. Additionally, upskilling workers in telehealth arrangements, such as remote monitoring through wearable devices, saves valuable time and effort for both patients and providers.
Increases diversity in the workplace
Lastly, upskilling is key to driving workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). While DEI initiatives in the past have mainly focused on recruitment, a Forbes article explains that providing employees with opportunities to learn, grow, and advance professionally can also enhance their sense of belonging and create more accepting healthcare work environments. Specifically, when health institutions prioritize upskilling their BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) employees into advanced clinical positions, the healthcare system, as a whole, is better equipped to deliver to underserved communities — ultimately bridging equity gaps in service delivery and patient outcomes.
As upskilling will inherently require healthcare facilities and providers to modernize their workplaces, Meddkit is here to provide digital growth and support through a range of services that cover payments, analytics, streamlined processes, and more. Feel free to explore our website to learn more about our offerings.
Article written by Roana James