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Bridging the Generational Divide in Healthcare

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Future of Work in Healthcare: A Strategic Approach to Bridging the Generational Divide

 

As published by the Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, April 17, 2020

 

As the progression of technology in healthcare gains momentum, the definition of patient care has evolved in tandem. In a world where clinicians now spend a great deal of time in a patient’s electronic health record (EHR), it begs the question –  is a provider’s experience with health IT of equal importance to their skills in personalized patient care and bedside manner? 

Organizations should recognize the opportunities that exist, and host transparent conversations about ways to ensure clinicians of all ages feel valued and heard.”

Lisa Manion

The answer is not cut-and-dry, but the fact remains that the increasing integration of technology into care delivery has contributed to a cross-generational divide. Aging clinicians, who started their careers in a healthcare environment that prioritized spending time with patients above all, maintain excellent relationship-building skills, but may not have a primary focus on staying on top of all the technological developments. On the flip side, younger clinicians may be very comfortable and competent in the use of today’s technology but may not have spent as much meaningful time at the patient’s bedside as their very seasoned colleagues have. 

 

To add to this complexity, many healthcare professionals are approaching retirement age – the number of active physicians over age 65 quadrupled from 1975 to 2013, and nearly one-third of practicing doctors in 2016 were 60 or older. Undoubtedly, aging physicians provide immeasurable value to a health system, and their wisdom and experience should be leveraged. However, young clinicians also provide value through their ability to adapt and easily integrate technology into their workflows. Organizations need to determine how best to tap into younger clinicians’ native technology proficiency and encourage more experienced clinicians to share best practices for bedside patient care, creating an ecosystem where collaboration and the true exchange of ideas and skill sets is fundamental to operations.

 

Read the full article as published by Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare at Future of Work in Healthcare: A Strategic Approach to Bridging the Generational Divide

About the author

Lisa Manion

Lisa Manion, M.D., MBA

Strategic Client Partner

As a senior physician executive, Lisa has focused on hospital operations, inpatient, outpatient and ambulatory services, quality of care, and physician recruitment. She brings over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare, both as a health system executive and strategic transformation consultant. Lisa has worked with health system boards, executives, and physicians to ensure successful organizational transformation.