A looming capacity crisis in healthcare requires urgent attention from human resource executives in partnership with their CIO counterparts. To keep care sustainable, a paradigm shift is needed. The revolution will be fueled by workforce data. Algorithms will identify adjacent skills and employee interests, suggesting roles that appropriate employees might aim for with a little development—and identifying specific training to narrow the skills gap.

Health workforce data usage needs to grow

Use of workforce data must be drastically increased and appropriately managed. Among those polled by Accenture1, 57 percent of healthcare organisations say they are using new technologies and sources of workplace data.

Majority of organisations are using new tech

CXOs: To what extent is your organization using new technologies and sources of workplace data to achieve business goals?

Leverage wage arbitrage

The real revolution will take the form of breaking through traditional role delineations and changing healthcare organisations from role-based to skills-based structures. Using workforce data to do so could significantly increase productivity and workforce performance by optimising skills distribution and improving organisational agility and speed, unlocking trapped value and growing business.

Specific ways to do this include allocating tasks to the most cost-effective workers, as well as automation. Healthcare leaders agree: a vast majority say technology to identify employees’ hidden and adjacent skills would help them reskill and retain displaced workers.

Health CXOs use tech to identify people’s skills

CXOs: To what extent do you believe that this is helping or could help your organization quickly reskill and retain workers at risk of displacement from automation and AI?

Relatively few health CXOs are open to letting employees own their own work-related data so they can take it with them once they leave.

Ownership of personal data

Right now, there seems to be a disconnect between the terms on which leadership want to access employee data, and the terms on which workers are willing to share it. Relatively few health CXOs are open to letting employees own their own work-related data so they can take it with them once they leave (to a significant or large extent), but a strong majority of healthcare workers say they want to own the work-related personal data kept by their employers and take it when they leave1.

Key to more effective use of workforce data in healthcare is a constructive, honest conversation between executives and employees about its use, benefits, and the terms thereof.

How to make it happen

  • Speak openly with employees 
  • Involve employees in the process
  • Measure value based on activity types and adapt to improve outcomes

Such a paradigmatic change will greatly improve prospects for longer-term sustainable healthcare. It will deliver better patient outcomes while building a happier, more effective healthcare workforce and improving broad-based access to care.

1 Decoding Organizational DNA: The Trust Imperative

Niamh McKenna

Managing Director – Accenture Health, UK

Ulla Kuukka

Senior Manager – Accenture Consulting, Healthcare


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