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Preparing for a new generation of healthcare professionals: tools, technology, workflows, and culture

It’s rare that a day goes by without a headline around new delivery and payment models, policies, and regulations. The transition from volume to value is accelerating, and the renewed focus on improving the quality of care is attracting a wave of younger professionals to the field. As this new generation takes on the challenge of making healthcare more accessible and affordable, it’s motivating organizations to evolve their tools, technology, workflows, and culture along with the way that they deliver care.

Investing in New Tools and Technology

Within hospitals and health systems, the tools and technology used to track patients and communicate about their care have evolved and are slowly but surely becoming more advanced. Tablets and mobile devices are becoming the norm in the acute setting, with providers and administrators detailing and sharing their notes in EHRs. Once a patient leaves an acute setting, however, the care coordinators who are charged with continuing to follow that patient have an extremely limited set of tools at their disposal. Even in this day and age, many are forced to rely on phones, faxes, and Excel spreadsheets to gather patient data.

The new generation stepping in to fulfill care management and care coordination roles is used to smart technology and user-friendly interfaces in their everyday lives, and they expect the same in the workplace. They’re coming into these organizations with the expectation that they will find intuitive, connected, and seamless technology to help them fulfill their job functions. That means easy-to-use technology that allows them to access real-time clinical data and that gives them visibility into what’s happening with their patient panels across the continuum.

Supporting Scalable Workflows

This generation isn’t embracing technology just for the sake of newness. Young healthcare professionals entering the field recognize that greater efficiency is a prerequisite to the enormous task of reducing costs and improving care. While the manual process of checking up on each patient individually may work for a small set of patients, today’s population health and accountable care initiatives can include hundreds of patients. It’s simply impossible to track them all through these manual workflows.

New entrants to the workforce are pushing organizations to automate and adapt workflows, but that doesn’t mean that adding new technology is always the solution. In many cases, the greatest efficiencies and most seamless user experience are achieved by integrating existing solutions. Creating a single sign-on between two applications, for example, is one way of building a more scalable workflow to meet the expectations of a younger generation of care coordinators and the demands of value-based care.

Cultivating a Collaborative Culture

More than any one specific tool or workflow, the key to engaging a younger generation of healthcare professionals is fostering an open, collaborative culture where new ideas are embraced. Innovation is critical to creating more value in the healthcare system, not just from the top down, but also from the ground up.

Learn more about tools that help manage patients across the continuum. 

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