Healthcare Employment Trends: 5 Trends Shaping the Industry

Jan 23, 2024
Healthcare Employment Trends: 5 Trends Shaping the Industry
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Healthcare professionals and patients are constantly changing as a result of new technologies and innovations. Employment trends within the industry are also changing as these developments result in a growing demand for skills and expertise. Here are five major trends impacting healthcare employment for job seekers and employers alike.

One such trend is the increasing demand for healthcare tech jobs. Technological advancements have created a growing need for professionals who can navigate these technologies and apply them effectively in healthcare. Job openings and skill sets required for these positions have increased, making it an exciting and dynamic sector today.

Another notable trend is the focus on addressing burnout and stress among healthcare professionals. As the industry grapples with ongoing challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, employee burnout has become a significant concern that must be addressed. This has prompted employers to explore new strategies to attract and retain skilled employees, emphasizing better work-life balance and support structures.

 

Changes in Patient Care and Access

The healthcare industry has experienced various shifts in patient care and service access. Advancements in technology and changing patient preferences are contributing factors that impact healthcare employment trends. 

Telehealth and Telemedicine: Telehealth and telemedicine offer patients greater convenience by allowing them to access medical consultations, diagnoses, and treatments remotely. Moreover, telehealth was proven essential during the COVID-19 pandemic in maintaining patient care while reducing the risk of transmission.

Home-Based Care: Another trend shaping healthcare is the growing popularity of at-home diagnostics and care. Patients appreciate the convenience and safety of receiving medical treatment in their homes rather than traveling to healthcare centers. Home-based care can also be more cost-effective and create a personalized treatment plan for patients with diverse healthcare needs.

Care Delivery Models: New care delivery models include:

  • Integrated care: Combining primary, secondary, and tertiary care with mental health and social care increases efficiency.

  • Patient-centered Medical Homes (PCMHs): Patients receive comprehensive and coordinated care focusing on their long-term needs and preventive measures.

Expanded Access to Healthcare: To increase accessibility more outpatient centers and clinics will be built, and services will be offered in nontraditional settings (like schools and workplaces). The healthcare sector may also begin working with other organizations and industries to address social determinants of health, such as affordable housing and food security.

Convenience and Patient Experience: As patients place a higher value on convenience, healthcare providers are working to enhance their services by offering extended hours, online appointment scheduling, and virtual consultations. The patient experience is also a significant focus, with healthcare providers striving to ensure a personalized, efficient, and positive patient experience.

These trends in patient care and access are expected to drive healthcare employment opportunities and shape the industry, ultimately benefiting patients and healthcare providers.

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Emerging Technological Trends in Healthcare

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are used to enhance patient care. AI-powered robots increasingly assist surgical procedures and other tasks requiring extreme precision and accuracy. Additionally, machine learning algorithms enable faster and more efficient drug discovery.

Telemedicine and Virtual Care

Telemedicine and virtual care have become essential components of modern healthcare, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth services offer patients remote access to medical professionals, facilitating consultations and routine check-ups without needing patients and healthcare providers to be physically present. This has significantly expanded the reach of healthcare and made it more accessible to people in remote locations. Telemedicine also reduces the burden on healthcare facilities by enabling remote monitoring and management of chronic disease patients.

One prime example of the growing importance of telemedicine is seen in the increasing demand for healthcare tech jobs, showcasing the need for professionals who can bridge the gap between technology and healthcare.

Wearable Devices and Personal Monitors

Wearable devices and personal monitors in healthcare have seen impressive growth. Patients and healthcare professionals have largely embraced everything from smartwatches and fitness trackers to specialized equipment for monitoring specific health conditions, like blood pressure or glucose levels. By providing real-time data, these devices promote preventative care and personalized health management as they provide patients and healthcare workers with insights into the patient's health. Advancements in wearable technology will play a significant role in remote telehealth and virtual care services by providing crucial data for healthcare providers to monitor patients from afar.

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The Impact of the Pandemic on Healthcare Employment

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on healthcare employment. The healthcare sector witnessed a considerable drop in employment at the beginning of the pandemic but has since largely rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. By October 2023, the health sector added 58,400 jobs over the previous month. Healthcare jobs, however, haven't been distributed evenly across the industry.

The pandemic increased pressure on doctors and nurses, resulting in burnout and stress, highlighting the critical importance of staff engagement in healthcare. Additional challenges have been created for hospitals and patient care, as well as the ongoing nursing shortage. Meanwhile, employment levels remained relatively low in elderly care and skilled nursing facilities.

Wage Increases: As hospitals faced increased demand and staffing challenges during the pandemic, there was an 8.5% increase in average hourly wages for hospital employees between February 2020 and August 2021. This trend will unlikely subside anytime soon, as the demand for experienced healthcare workers remains high.

Shift in Patient Care: Along with employment trends, the pandemic also altered the nature of hospital patient care. Patient acuity increased as the length of hospital stays rose due to the severity of COVID-19 cases. This further intensified the workload and stress on the healthcare workforce, impacting their overall job satisfaction.

Adoption of Healthcare Technology: The healthcare industry saw a surge in the adoption and integration of healthcare technology during the pandemic. Healthcare tech jobs witnessed significant growth as the need for professionals with expertise in data analytics, telemedicine, remote monitoring, and other tech-based solutions increased.

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Evolution of Nursing and Medicine

An aging population, technological advances, and patient-centered care require adaptation in nursing and medicine 

Aging Population and Home-Based Care: Many older adults need healthcare services tailored to their needs as the global population ages. In response, home-based care has displaced hospital-based care. With their expertise in assessment, management, and care coordination, nurses are essential in providing quality care for older adults. Thus, skilled nurses with senior care experience are in greater demand in home-based care settings.

Personalized Medicine: Medical treatments customized to individual patient's needs based on genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. For nurses to effectively integrate these new practices into their daily routines requires additional training and resources. 

Mental Health and Preventive Care: Nurses with specialized skills and training in these areas face a unique opportunity for early intervention and prevention of mental health issues, as they are often the first point of contact for patients with these concerns.

Nursing Shortage: Nursing will continue to require more skilled professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests nursing employment will grow by 9% from 2020 to 2030, adding about 276,800 new positions. The growing demand for healthcare services, an aging workforce, and limited capacity in nursing education programs all contribute to this shortage.

The evolution of nursing and medicine has led to several key trends shaping the healthcare employment landscape. These trends, including home-based care, personalized medicine, mental health and preventive care, and the nursing shortage, demand increased training and resources for nurses to adapt and thrive. As healthcare evolves, nurses and other healthcare professionals will be more critical in delivering quality care to patients across various settings.

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Shaping the Future: Opportunities and Shifts in the Healthcare Workforce

Offering new opportunities and reshaping the workforce adapts to changing needs. Providers face many challenges while the workforce pursues exciting innovations and jobs.

One trend driving the industry's transformation is the increasing focus on prevention and population health. This shift has led to a demand for professionals specializing in preventive care, which influences healthcare employment trends.

More emphasis is also placed on creating a culture of care in the healthcare sector. Strategic efforts such as cultivating a culture of care, supporting staff well-being, providing fair compensation, promoting diversity, and creating patient-centric work environments are becoming essential. HR's influence in healthcare plays a vital role in these areas, fostering a healthy and efficient work environment.

Another significant trend is the rise of healthcare tech jobs. Integrating technology into the healthcare industry, such as tailored medication and virtual care, has led to the need for skilled professionals specialized in tech-driven fields like health informatics, telemedicine, and artificial intelligence.

Additionally, upskilling is becoming a sought-after employee benefit in the healthcare industry. As providers strive to stay competitive in a changing market, enhancing their workforce with new skills will be necessary.

Lastly, the growing diversity in patient populations is shaping the healthcare workforce. Emphasis on cultural competency and multilingual capabilities among providers are essential for catering to diverse patient needs.

The healthcare industry is experiencing rapid change, providing exciting opportunities and shifting workforce dynamics. Taking advantage of these trends in innovations and jobs will be vital for providers and employees to truly shape the future of healthcare.

Empowering Healthcare's Future with HR Cloud

A crucial aspect of addressing these healthcare employment trends is the effective use of human resources tools. HR Cloud offers tools tailored for healthcare employers that will help you align with industry trends. Leveraging these tools will help you adapt and thrive in an ever-evolving industry.

Employee Engagement: Workmates by HR Cloud provides a platform for healthcare organizations to launch wellness and engagement programs. Through this tool, healthcare employers can create initiatives promoting work-life balance, mental health, and employee recognition, fostering a more supportive work culture.

Streamlining Recruitment for Tech-Driven Healthcare Roles: As the demand for healthcare tech jobs rises, HR Cloud's recruitment solutions can streamline attracting, hiring, and onboarding professionals with the required tech expertise. The tools can efficiently manage the influx of applications, helping identify candidates with the specific skill sets needed for these evolving roles.

Facilitating Remote Work and Telemedicine: With the rise of telehealth, HR Cloud's solutions can support the remote work infrastructure needed by healthcare providers. This includes managing remote teams, ensuring compliance with healthcare regulations, and facilitating seamless communication between healthcare professionals, whether they are in the field or working from home.

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Author Bio:

This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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