The FHI 2020 study reported that despite high patient numbers and workplace challenges, younger HCPs are still highly engaged and dedicated. Locally, HCPs operate within a health system that has important areas to address especially in terms of national organization and financing3. However, the availability of technology can play a key role in sustaining the dedication of our local providers.
Based on a survey of HCPs across Asia Pacific, many of them believe that the right technology coupled with proper training can help in reducing work-related stress. This shows the importance of technology and education as key in the advancement of the medical field – thus, keeping HCPs engaged with the task of providing care.
In choosing where to work, younger HCPs value a collaborative organizational culture that features a balance between placing value on having the latest technology while allowing HCPs professional autonomy. While access to technological resources is vital in providing more accurate diagnoses and personalized care, providing HCPs with flexible working arrangements can positively impact both their clinical performance and overall work-life balance as well.
Engaging the Workforce
Advances in medical technology excite younger HCPs and enhance their personal satisfaction in terms of their careers. However, the FHI 2020 study showed that there is a sizable number of medical professionals who feel that their education did not sufficiently train them in the aspects of data analysis and interpretation. In terms of the Philippine setting, the lack of data sharing technologies prevents both care providers and patients with the ability to effectively navigate the healthcare system by reducing waiting times, preventing procedure duplications, and improving the overall course of treatment4.
The ideal workplace places importance on continued education and training, especially in terms of technology and data. Investment in data sharing platforms is vital for HCPs to stay engaged, efficient, and remain on the pulse of a medical field that continuously moves towards digitization.
Lowering Internal Barriers
Many younger HCPs believe in their abilities to create change within the organizations they belong to. Despite this, many of them feel a lack of interest in their suggestions and views, leaving them less empowered in their roles. In the Philippines, this is coupled with other factors such as the uneven distribution of medical technologies across the archipelago5, and the lack of employment opportunities leading to “brain drain”6.
In order to address this, organizations must become pro-active in creating change both internally and on a national level. Leaders and policy makers must examine their decision-making processes and recalibrate them to become more inclusive towards younger HCPs. By providing a platform for them and the perspectives that they bring to table, an organization empowers younger HCPs to fully embrace their roles as future leaders of the field.
In today’s setting, despite the onset of COVID-19, significant strides have been made in terms of the digitalization of healthcare. While data and technology always play a key role in plotting a course towards the future of medical care, more than ever, it’s up to the workforce of younger HCPs to bring us there. The Philippines has the potential to vastly improve its healthcare services. By investing in technology and developing the competencies of our care providers, we can make great strides towards providing value-based care for all who need it – wherever they may be in the country.
The findings from the FHI 2020 report highlight key areas for healthcare leaders and policy makers to address not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but also in terms of the environments in which our care providers operate in. By creating workplaces that feature state-of-the-art technology while providing inclusivity for all those within the organization to share their views, the pathways are laid out for healthcare providers to maximize their potential, enjoy fulfilling careers, and positively impact the goal of the healthcare profession: to improve a patient’s quality of life across the board, from hospital to home.
This article was first published on The Philippine Daily Inquirer in February 2021.