Healthcare Sector Should Focus on Employee Learning and Development

Healthcare is a field that demands continual learning through extensive academic pursuits, additional certifications, and staying abreast of industry innovations. Whether they treat medical or psychological illnesses, healthcare practitioners don’t have the luxury of ending their education prematurely. The learning process never ends, for healthcare practices continually evolve, subject to clinical research and technological advancements. 

Hospitals and healthcare facilities face enormous pressure to embrace evidence-based practices, medical technologies, and emerging pharmaceutical interventions. The pressure is intense for private facilities that charge exuberant amounts to provide patients with state-of-the-art medical equipment and promising treatments. Facilities cannot stay abreast of industry trends and innovations without investing in employee learning and development. 

Unfortunately, balancing a full-time healthcare career with learning pursuits isn’t easy, especially for young professionals navigating competitive work environments. Organizations and healthcare leaders have a vested interest in encouraging employees to prioritize professional growth and development. But how does employee development benefit healthcare organizations?

Keep reading to find out. 

Improving Patient Care & Quality Standards 

Clinical researchers, nursing researchers, scientists, and public health professionals innovate healthcare processes with evidence-based practices. Research organizations and pharmaceutical giants fund billions of dollars worth of clinical trials and scientific studies to investigate patient care processes. Some researchers study the impacts of hospitalization while others examine the effects of administrative functions in improving quality standards. 

Continual learning and higher education are crucial to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based healthcare practices across facilities. There’s a burgeoning demand for highly qualified and skilled healthcare administrators to lead organizations towards improved quality controls and care standards. Suppose you’re serving a hospital in an entry-level capacity, vying to steer your career towards leadership roles. In that case, exploring MBA programs with healthcare concentration will help you develop leadership skills and core competencies for career advancement. 

E-learning platforms facilitate healthcare professionals with accessible and affordable higher education avenues. Nurse practitioners, physicians, healthcare administrators, and interns can seamlessly balance their professional obligations with remote degree programs. You can learn and grow at your preferred pace and design your schedule to support a healthy work-life balance. Higher education is an unavoidable prerequisite to excel in competitive and innovation-driven healthcare environments. 

The healthcare industry could never have achieved the groundbreaking transformations we witness today without the leadership of passionate and dedicated practitioners. The sector needs practitioners, scientists, and researchers who can continue fueling the engine of innovation by harnessing and honing their skills. 

Encouraging Professional Development to Upskill 

Talent recruitment and selection in the healthcare sector are strikingly different from other industries. Hospitals and clinics spend thousands of dollars attracting and retaining top talent, often draining their financial resources to hire reputable specialists. Is there a more affordable and efficient way to upskill and innovate healthcare facilities? Indeed. 

Encouraging professional development and skill-building enables organizations to upskill without the expensive and time-consuming burdens of talent acquisition. Healthcare leaders can assess skill shortages and incentivize existing employees to develop relevant competencies. Suppose a hospital is struggling to address the ongoing shortages of skilled physicians to deliver primary care services. In that case, encouraging BSN practitioners to pursue family nurse practitioner (MSN) specializations is a viable solution. 

Practitioners are more likely to tackle the burdens of higher education if employers incentivize them with promotions and job security. Healthcare leaders can collaborate with e-learning platforms and reputable institutions to offer higher education programs at reduced costs. Creating learning advantages and incentives is a viable strategy to upskill by encouraging employee development. Healthcare leaders can address skill shortages and lead employees to promising avenues for skill-building and training. 

Developing Digital Literacy 

Healthcare sectors are struggling to embrace disruptive technologies that mark a profound departure from traditional practices and processes. Adaptability is a profound challenge for facilities, administrators, healthcare practitioners, and patients. When it comes to technology acquisition and implementation, employee learning is a necessity than a luxury. 

Healthcare facilities need to train nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, administrative staff, and other employees to develop digital literacy and acquire sophisticated technologies. How can medical technicians harness sophisticated diagnostic and surgical tools without prior training and skill-building? How can nurse practitioners transition from paperwork to e-health records without developing digital literacy and relevant skills?

The shift to telehealth has proven chaotic for many practitioners, especially retiring physicians who lack generational comfort with digital devices. Healthcare sectors rely on certifications, training sessions, and workshops to harness digital solutions and technological innovations. Acquiring and implementing new technologies without employee training runs the risk of compromising patient care and safety. 

Suppose a nurse practitioner is compelled to use medication dosage calculation tools without adequate training. In that case, the practitioner is highly likely to make medication errors due to a lack of familiarity with the device’s functions. Technology acquisition offers many advantages, but the benefits outweigh the risks if employees are unprepared and digitally illiterate. 

Boosting Prestige & Reputation 

The market reputation and popularity of a hospital or clinic stem from the qualifications, skills, and success rates of its practitioners. Practitioners lend credibility and acclaim to healthcare facilities by enriching organizations with their skills. This narrative explains why healthcare recruiters offer compelling benefits to attract and retain gifted physicians, surgeons, and specialists. 

Patients are highly unlikely to seek treatment at healthcare facilities accused of medical negligence, malpractice, and unethical care practices. More importantly, patients form personal connections and comfort levels with their practitioners, choosing to develop long-term care relations. Suppose a physician or family nurse practitioner decides to quit a hospital job and start a private practice. The practitioner’s patients are likely to follow and continue treatment at the private clinic in such a situation. 

Hospitals risk losing customers and revenues if they fail to nurture employees and encourage professional development. Healthcare careers guarantee job security and market demand for qualified and skilled professionals, come recession or boom. Facilities depend more on practitioners than employees rely on hospitals to develop lucrative and financially stable careers. 

Unfortunately for many healthcare facilities, encouraging professional development isn’t always enough to retain a top physician on staff. Salary plays a huge role in where physicians choose to work, where they choose to stay, and why they leave certain practice settings for others. 

For example, a dermatologist working in a public hospital earns an average of just over $274k per year. The private practice dermatologist salary is more than $338k annually. In certain markets and regions, hospitals simply can’t compete. They will undoubtedly lose some top-level physicians that opt to follow the money and transition to workplaces where larger financial opportunities exist.

Therefore, encouraging employee development is crucial to retaining acclaimed and reputable practitioners, allowing them to develop emotional ties with their workplace. 

Final Thoughts 

The healthcare sector relies on the innovative research pursuits of dedicated and passionate practitioners, scientists, and experts. Employee learning and development are crucial to improving care standards, patient outcomes, and safety regulations. Incentivizing continual education and skill-building offers an affordable and efficient approach to upskilling and improvement. 

Healthcare leaders have much to gain by encouraging young medical practitioners and non-medical employees towards professional growth and self-actualization. After all, hospitals and private clinics derive their prestige and reputability from their medical and non-medical talent.