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How do we solve future health workforce needs with digital technology?

Over the past few months, a number of organisations across the healthcare ecosystem have engaged Energesse to help overcome challenges with the common theme of ‘needing to do more with less’.  It is unsurprising terminology for players in health system that is undergoing increased service demands but increasingly scarce funding supply. Hence we’ll be covering this in our Executive Breakfast in Melbourne in a few weeks.

The interesting fact is that this common problem emerges whether I’m speaking to a hospital CEO, a healthcare recruiter, a pharmaceutical industry executive or a healthcare technology vendor.

One of the stressors of this challenge in maintaining the existing business model and deliver services is that there is a need to maintain a significant workforce, whether it is doctors, nurses, HR, recruitment staff, accountants, sales reps and many more. At all levels of the ecosystem, the need for increased workforce is largely appears true, yet it forms one the most significant parts of the cost base of most organisations. And it is no longer sustainable.

As such, many organisations have spoken to me about how they can disrupt and innovate their own business or service model with technology, in order to manage the increasing cost and need of the workforce. However, most executives are challenged with exactly how to do this, and what thought process is required to start disrupting their own models digitally.

The answer is – it starts with your ‘customer’. One has to understand who the actual customer is in your part of the value chain and really understand their needs. The ‘customer’ may be the doctor, the patient, the pharmacist, the consumer/taxpayer, whoever it is your part of the organisation has to deliver value to.

One of the biggest mistakes is trying to adopt new digital technology solutions, is the tendency to jump to solutions (i.e developing a website or mobile app,or telehealth solution) , without really understanding who the customer is, and mapping out exactly where their needs, frustrations and pain points are in the customer journey. IT and digital solutions should target those pain points.

Customer Journey mapping is often done too narrowly in healthcare, and the questioning and analysis of real needs is actually done very poorly, if done at all. This results in enormous wasted financial resources on IT projects as well as not really solving the customer problem in healthcare. It certainly does not help manage the increased workforce requirements.  Similar insights on IT projects in healthcare were captured in research by Michael Porter and Bob Kaplan in Harvard Business School

If you’d like to learn more about this, do come along to our Executive Breakfast on  on Oct 30, 2015, 7.30 AM to 10.30 AM (AEST).  Download the brochure here.  Our breakfast event in Sydney was a great success, so if you happen to be in Melbourne, please join us if you are available, and feel free to pass on this invitation to your colleagues in healthcare. Click here to REGISTER

About the Author: Dr Avnesh Ratnanesan

Dr Avi is a medical doctor with broad healthcare sector experience including hospitals, biotech, pharmaceuticals and the wellness industry. He is a leading expert who coaches and consults to senior executives, entrepreneurs, practitioners, organisations and governments.