The U.S. health care landscape we knew for so long is now virtually unrecognizable. It's been reshaped by legislative, technological and demographic developments that may be familiar to different segments of the marketplace:

  • The Affordable Care Act has enabled more than 16.4 million Americans to get health care coverage.
  • Emerging technologies are improving diagnoses and quality of treatment.
  • Retail health — with more than 10 million annual visits at 1,800 locations — has become a popular way for people to seek immediate, convenient care.
  • More than 44 million baby boomers are now 65 and older — retirement age — a time when demand for long-term and advanced care increases.

It's become clear over time that there aren't enough workers who possess the knowledge and tech-savvy skills necessary to fill the expanded roles brought on by these changes.

How do we manage this skills gap?

We all have different ideas and perspectives about how to address this, and lots of questions to answer. With this forum, we have a golden opportunity — and a responsibility — to share those ideas and perspectives with each other and work together to close that gap, to build the workforce of the future.

At a high level, we must at least determine what competencies are missing and what new ones are in demand. And we must revisit certificate and degree programs — and the curricula that support them — to ensure they are relevant and align with the required skills the industry needs.

This will go a long way toward developing a pipeline of talent who understands the emerging health care technologies and can adapt to the ever-morphing health care landscape.

The industry will continue to evolve. We can help today's health care workers evolve with it.

I'm very much looking forward to this forum, where so many thought leaders from key parts of the industry will engage in this much-needed discussion so we can begin addressing the challenges head on from the same starting point. It will provide a great springboard for future discussions and progress as we work together to manage the health care skills gap.

 

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I’m compensated by University of Phoenix for this blog and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


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