By Bill Borden
With the World Health Organization projecting a global shortage of 18 million health workers, KPMG Global Health Practice Chairman Dr. Mark Britnell examines this issue in his book “Human: Solving the Global Work Force Crisis in Healthcare.”
Britnell breaks down how workforce shortages will affect different nations and some of the policy and technological solutions that can be applied to this problem. In the U.S., the issue particularly acute.
Nearly a third of nurses will reach retirement age in the next 10 to 15 years and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing predicts that a million new nurses will be needed by 2020. Compounding that issue is a shortage of faculty to train nurses.
While there is a debate about the scope of a physician shortage, many parts of the United States are underserved and lack medical specialists.
The United States presently spends nearly 18 percent of its economic output on healthcare. Outcomes tied to this spending are so-so, lagging many nations in life expectancy, infant mortality, and overall healthcare coverage.
So now America’s healthcare system needs to address the workforce issues in combination with the relative lack of value from healthcare spending.
Britnell’s book outlines five forces that will drive healthcare transformation that is necessary to address this emerging crisis.
With these five dynamics, productivity among clinical staff could improve by 20 percent. We will still need more healthcare staff, but this approach can alleviate the looming crisis while getting patients to the most appropriate care setting.
“If the (UK's National Health Service) and other health systems want to retain people throughout their working lives," Britnell says, "they must support them through life events – parenthood, deaths, older age – and every stage of their career.”
To learn more or to arrange an interview with Britnell, please contact Bill Borden.
According to an article that Mark Britnell wrote for the The Guardian (U.K.), healthcare staffers are “feeling undervalued, overworked and demoralized.” Britnell’s book suggests that health systems must support the workforce through life events to meet legitimate expectations of a healthy and happy relationship with work. Access the article here.
Mark Britnell biography.