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Bridging the Gap: Digital Skills in Healthcare 

August 21, 2023
healthcare upskilling

The modern workforce is experiencing a digital skills gap. There is a disparity between the skills and knowledge that employees possess and those required to thrive in a digital-first economy. According to the Wiley Digital Skills Gap Index, the healthcare and social assistance industry is among the top three with the widest digital skills gap. 

Most healthcare organizations – including senior living, dental practices, sports medicine centers and urgent care facilities – are looking for ways to grow the business without adding headcount, especially in today’s uncertain economic climate. They’re struggling to centralize processes and create efficiencies across multiple locations. Many are turning to technology as a solution. According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), 80% of health systems said they plan to increase their investment in digital tools over the next five years.  

Digitization Within Finance

Finance leaders within healthcare are adopting new technologies to streamline manual tasks and enhance data analysis. In a recent survey conducted by AvidXchange and IOFM, 70% of finance professionals indicated that prioritizing technology investment falls within the medium to high range for their respective organizations. 

Undoubtedly, emerging technologies such as machine learning, automation and AI are reshaping our approach to work. Gartner’s projections indicate a profound shift ahead, anticipating that 40% of finance roles will be new or reshaped by 2025, driven by technological advancements. Today’s workforce must proactively adapt and acquire new skills to fully harness the potential benefits offered by digitalization. 

Employees Welcome Technology

While there’s a prevailing notion that finance personnel are resistant to digitizing their responsibilities, our 2023 AP Professional Career Satisfaction Survey revealed the opposite. Among the AP professionals surveyed, a substantial majority embrace automation technology. 

Today’s healthcare workforce perceives automation as a way to refine procedures, curtail errors and bolster overall efficiency. According to HIMSS, nearly all healthcare professionals who responded to a recent survey viewed exploring the potential uses of AI and machine learning as a moderate or high organizational priority. Sixty-two percent of healthcare professionals said they haven’t yet begun working with AI or machine learning but are interested in doing so. 

Upskilling Steps Up

Bridging the digital skills gap within the healthcare industry is most effectively accomplished through upskilling initiatives. Upskilling refers to training and development opportunities that teach new skills in the workplace. These initiatives can include online courses, in-person workshops and on-the-job learning. By fostering upskilling, organizations help employees thrive in a digitalized workspace. 

The benefits of upskilling programs extend beyond individual employees; they spill over into the organization, breeding heightened productivity, increased employee engagement and amplified innovation. 

Employees armed with training are better poised to confront challenges and more likely to stay with the organization long-term. What’s more, upskilling programs can help organizations identify new opportunities and ways to streamline operations, leading to business growth without additional headcount.   

Most important is the resounding demand from employees themselves. Upskilling is no longer just a fringe benefit, it’s highly sought-after. Our survey underscores this, revealing that 84% of AP professionals consider learning and skills development to be of “moderate” to “extreme” importance when assessing new job opportunities.  

Learn more about upskilling in healthcare by downloading our free e-book below. 

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