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