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Mobile Healthcare: the Answer to the Workforce Shortage?

Published on July 21st, 2014 by in Uncategorized

By now, mid-second decade of the twenty-first century, we as a people are used to technology. We are comfortable in the digital age, confident in the power of the technology around us and adept at its usage. Popular culture has been efficiently digital for a while, now the workforce is finishing up its digital transition. The innovation of this age is all technological, advances come at lightning speed. This can be seen distinctly in the healthcare field. An initially slow adopter of technology, the mobile healthcare industry has finally grown to a blooming field. Apps and systems that improve quality of care, efficiency, and connectivity are common in the healthcare world now, yet the healthcare industry is still plagued with a personnel shortage. In an exponentially growing world it seems strange to have a field that is so lacking in workers: mobility can help the healthcare field, and mobile healthcare can revitalize the entire world of health professionals. There are two ways in which mHealth can solve the shortage issues.

First of all, taking healthcare into the digital realm will attract more workers. The population is now used to ‘being mobile’; they are used to having immediate and consistent access to the things they need. Everything in their personal life is handled on their smartphone, it is frustrating to come in to work and have to regress technologically. Taking steps toward mHealth will give healthcare systems an attractive quality, showing prospective employees that the healthcare system is current and innovative. Having a strong mHealth presence will assure employees that the hospital system is thriving, rather than decaying. Employees want any sign of job security, and a thriving mobile healthcare connection will provide a small sign of a healthy business that will provide for its employees. The first issue with healthcare systems today is that the requirements and disconnectedness of old hospital systems have no attractors for potential employees. With mobile healthcare, the field becomes ripe for futuristic innovation and a workforce more understandable to the current digital generation.

The second assistance that an mHealth connection provides is enabling the already employed workers to do more. With mobile apps, healthcare professionals can be much more efficient. There are apps that provide consolidated information, negating the need for time-consuming research and collation. There are apps that provide patient-doctor connections and updates, often alleviating the need for a full appointment. There are also apps that collect data and monitor vitals in discharged patients, apps that provide important prescription drug information, and apps that connect specialists with nurses and general practitioners. All of these apps can be used to maximize on employee time and efficiency, and this is just a handful sampling of the hundreds of thousands of mHealth apps.

By making hospital systems more attractive to prospective employees and maximizing efficiency of current employees, mobile healthcare seems like a step that all healthcare systems should take. The healthcare workforce shortage is a major issue, but its solution is on the rise. A generation that has only known a digital world is rising to working age; mobile healthcare is the language and answer for this new group of young healthcare professionals.

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