The most important asset for healthcare is healthcare workers. However, this sector faces significant challenges regarding this valuable resource, which have been further exacerbated because of the pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization, there will be a shortfall of 15 million healthcare workers by 2030. Clearly, the future needs new workforce management approaches to ensure staff availability by increasing attractiveness for new and qualified talent and retention, reducing the high turnover and increasing the overall wellbeing of healthcare workers. Workforce management approaches currently in use are not in line with the realities in healthcare today and the healthcare professionals’ expectations. The needs of patients and healthcare staff have changed dramatically, and that is why it is important for healthcare organisations to rethink their workforce management strategies and adopt strategies that can address the human resource challenges healthcare faces today. Undoubtedly, the time that patients and healthcare workers would fit to the organisational demands has passed. Healthcare managers need to realise that work models need to be redesigned toward patient and healthcare workforce needs. Probably, the biggest conundrum that health management faces today.
In this issue, our contributors discuss the growing problem of healthcare staff shortages, the challenges faced by healthcare workers, factors that affect the healthcare workforce, new skills that need to be developed, effective strategies for sustainable recruitment, best practices to engage good talent and changes and measures that can help healthcare workers thrive and reduce burnout.
Iris Meyenburg-Altwarg highlights the need to use a different approach to personnel development in healthcare in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity to be able to react fast and efficiently to the changes, enable employees to develop the necessary skills and competencies, and apply new forms of leadership and organisation.
Donna Prosser outlines a standardised approach to organising the documents that guide care (the 6Ps of clinical practice) to create more reliable healthcare systems and make it easier for frontline clinicians to know what they are expected to do and how to do it, and where to find it.
Michael Seraskeris addresses the problem of the global shortage in the number of health professionals of all specialties (physicians, general practitioners, nurses, laboratory technicians), its impact on the functioning of health systems worldwide and strategies to manage this major human resource challenge in healthcare.
Brian Hill talks about winning recruitment practices in a labour shortage, the consequences of bad recruitment strategies and the importance of filling jobs and hiring the best talent in healthcare.
Isabella Lopez, Bonita Dozier and Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber talk about the rate of infertility among female physicians and strategies to improve this through increased education and awareness among the medical community and expansion of infertility insurance coverage.
In other feature articles, Cristina Maria Baglivo and co-authors discuss the necessity of reducing unjustified radiation risk due to inappropriate diagnostic investigations by revising the diagnostic reference levels, renewing obsolete radiology instruments and providing the quantification of dose in each report and implementing lifelong learning at all levels.
Inga Shugalo provides an overview of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and how EHR tools could mark a new era in healthcare interoperability and be a valuable source of patient data for clinical trials.
We hope you will enjoy this issue. As always, your feedback is welcome.