The GCC Taskforce on Workforce Development in Digital Healthcare envision a sustainable digital health ecosystem through a skilled and empowered local eHealth workforce. We can achieve this by improving the eHealth skills and competencies of national human resources in the fields of Health Information Management, Health Information Technology and Health Informatics, through continuous training and the development of career pathways.
HEALTHCARE IS CHANGING
Healthcare has moved to a Skill Economy; a system built on the individual skills we possess, work and life experiences, accomplishments, and personal networking. Technology (eHealth, EHR, etc), changing regulatory and legislative policies, global and population health, value-based health outcomes, personalized medicine, virtual care, and patient-centric care models dependent on inter-professional teams have changed the skill set necessary to practice medicine.
Role requirements, competencies, and skill profiles are being redefined. Studies suggest that academic training in the areas of leadership, professional employability skills (e.g., teamwork), and business acumen (e.g., Lean Six Sigma) are not sufficient to meet the practical skills the healthcare industry demands.
In the GCC region, overall demand for healthcare is anticipated by McKinsey to increase by 240% over the next 20 years. Due to the immense need to increase efficiency and improve both service quality and patient safety, digital transformation of the healthcare system has become an imperative and not an option. However, the beating heart of any successful healthcare ecosystem is its workforce.
The changing ecosystem requires a robust and sustainable supply of highly skilled professionals, who are proficient not only in their specialty or domain but also in eHealth/health IT, to use, operate and optimize the digital services. Additionally, GCC countries are also witnessing a huge shift towards Universal Health Coverage and Value-based Care, which entails creating thousands of jobs to operate and maintain the required insurance information intensive systems.
The GCC countries are facing a healthcare workforce and ecosystem sustainability challenge at the same time as the demands from its professionals are being redefined and training requires new approaches.