March 5, 2020
- Findings indicate 34% of respondents across the 15 countries surveyed have considered leaving the healthcare profession as a result of stress
- 44% reveal medical education did not prepare them at all for business administration tasks in their current role
- An overwhelming 78% agree the benefits of anonymized health data outweigh perceived data privacy concerns to the individual
- Despite shortcomings, 25% of respondents believe digital health records (EMRs, EHRs, etc.) show the most promise for improving patient care over the next five years
Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced the publication of its Future Health Index (FHI) 2020 report: ‘The age of opportunity: Empowering the next generation to transform healthcare.’ The 2020 report is the first large-scale survey of this younger generation of healthcare professionals, capturing feedback from nearly 3,000 respondents across 15 countries who provide unique perspectives into how prepared they are to manage tomorrow’s healthcare.
Now in its fifth year, the Future Health Index 2020 report reveals critical insights from this new generation of healthcare professionals under the age of 40, a group that will comprise most of the healthcare workforce over the next 20 years. The report reveals the gap between their training and expectations around technological and digital healthcare transformation, as well as the reality of their experiences as healthcare professionals. The Future Health Index 2020 report offers guidance to today’s healthcare leaders on empowering this next generation of professionals to help retain and attract talent to meet the growing demands of modern healthcare.
“The burden of transforming healthcare lies on the shoulders of this next generation of healthcare professionals, but too often their views are not fully understood, nor taken into consideration to impact change. If we don’t listen to them now, we’ll lose them,” said Jan Kimpen, Chief Medical Officer, Royal Philips. “The findings of the Future Health Index 2020 report demonstrate we are at a crucial moment in the journey to the future of healthcare. While change won’t happen overnight, these findings give healthcare leaders serious incentives to tackle some of the pain points they must address today in order to drive successful outcomes down the line.”
The Future Health Index 2020 report identifies three core themes and critical findings:
Reality of career does not live up to expectations
The research finds that for many younger healthcare professionals (41%), the reality of their career either does not live up to their hopes and expectations or they are undecided. In many instances, their education has not necessarily prepared them for all aspects of real-life practice. In particular, key non-clinical demands of the role such as business administration tasks (e.g. billing, budgeting and workflow management), were identified by 44% of respondents as an area where their medical education did not prepare them at all.
“Being a successful healthcare professional does not just depend on your education. There are certain skills, such as change management, emotional intelligence and business administration, that are never taught in medical school, but are as necessary as clinical skills for success as a healthcare professional,” said Christoph Wald, Chairman, Radiology, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.
Despite data and technology being integral to their daily lives, personally and professionally, 35% of younger healthcare professionals say they are overwhelmed by the amount of digital patient data. Additionally, 35% do not know how to use the data to inform patient care.
Harnessing technology to help transform healthcare
Younger healthcare professionals are convinced of the potential of data and technology to improve both their own work experience and that of their patients. An overwhelming 78% agree that the societal benefits of improved patient care from the use of anonymized health data outweigh the perceived data privacy concerns to the individual. Additionally, 81% agree the right digital health technologies have the potential to reduce their workload.
Challenged and frustrated with digital health
However, the next generation of healthcare professionals also appears to have a love/hate relationship with digital health, citing lack of interoperability as a top barrier to adopting additional health information technology. Of those surveyed, 64% said sharing restrictions can result in incomplete digital patient data, while 39% state the digital patient data available to them isn’t actionable, and 33% saying what’s available to them isn’t relevant.
Yet, despite broadly discussed challenges and pain points, younger healthcare professionals see digital health technology as a foundation to improve the delivery of care. In fact, digital health records are seen as the most beneficial digital health technology for improving patient care over the next five years (25%). This is in comparison to those who selected AI to integrate diagnostics (22%), healthcare professional-to-healthcare professional telehealth (20%), AI to optimize operational efficiency (20%) and healthcare professional-to-patient telehealth (19%).
Leaving the healthcare profession as a result of stress
Younger healthcare professionals juggle immense responsibility with long working hours, leading to stress and potential burnout. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) say they regularly experience work-related stress and 34% report that they have considered leaving the healthcare profession as a result of this stress.
The Future Health Index 2020 report highlights a clear demand among this generation of younger healthcare professionals for a work environment that fosters collaboration and offers flexibility. When choosing a hospital or practice in which to work, factors such as a culture of collaboration (64%) and professional autonomy (60%) are more important to younger healthcare professionals than a strong record of patient outcomes (48%) or the hospital/practice’s reputation (42%).
For this generation of digital natives, technology also has an important role to play in motivation. This appears to be more pronounced in those who work in an environment where adoption of digital health technology is high. Younger healthcare professionals who work in smart facilities (80%) are more likely than those in both digital (70%) and analog (67%) facilities to agree that advancements in medical technology excite them about the future of the healthcare profession. Moreover, healthcare professionals who work in smart facilities are more likely (85%) than those in both digital (80%) and analog (71%) facilities to be satisfied with their work. Further, those in analog facilities are more likely to be dissatisfied.
Since 2016, Philips has conducted original research to help determine the readiness of countries to address global health challenges and build efficient and effective healthcare systems. For details on the Future Health Index methodology and to access the 2020 report in its entirety, visit the Future Health Index site.
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About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2019 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 80,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.