Over the course of the pandemic, no industry has worked harder than healthcare. Due to overwhelming capacity, skyrocketing cases of Covid-19, and excruciating long hours, these workers have faced their own physical and mental constraints.
A new report from Elsevier Health shows how the pandemic has affected healthcare professionals and what leaders can do to address this burned out industry.
According to the “Clinician of the Future” global report, which received responses from almost 3,000 doctors and nurses, 31% of clinicians and 47% of healthcare professionals in the US said they planned on leaving their jobs within the next two or three years.
“We must start to shift the conversation away from discussing today’s healthcare problems to delivering solutions that will help improve patient outcomes,” said Jan Herzhoff, president at Elsevier Health. “In our research, they have been clear about the areas they need support; we must act now to protect, equip and inspire the clinician of the future.”
Over half of clinicians stated that most of their work-related decisions will be made via various tools and artificial intelligence in the future, but 69% stated that they expect widespread technology use to create an even larger burden.
As a result, 83% agreed that training practices need to be revamped so healthcare professionals can keep up with evolving technology software.
Fifty-six percent of respondents added that patients have become increasingly empowered over the last decade, which led 82% to believe that exercising soft skills is essential to care for patients.
Although flexible work has been linked to many positives, clinicians feel that this shift will have a negative impact on their ability to express empathy and that there is a need to hone in on soft skills when seeing a patient virtually.
“Now is the time for bold thinking—to serve providers and patients today and tomorrow. We need to find ways to give clinicians the enhanced skills and resources they need to better support and care for patients in the future,” said Dr. Thomas Erlinger, vice president of clinical analytics at Elsevier Health. “And we need to fill in gaps today to stop the drain on healthcare workers to ensure a strong system in the next decade and beyond.”