What the Post-Pandemic Digital Transformation Means for Healthcare Employers

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Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly accelerated digital transformation across countless industries worldwide. Being on the frontlines, the healthcare industry in particular has undergone major innovation and digitization.

Prior to the pandemic, healthcare leaders focused on leveraging technology to optimize patient/provider experience, telehealth, virtual and remote care, and operational efficiencies across complex health networks. Now, major players in the healthcare industry are primarily concerned about the rising market demand and waning talent supply after the labor market took a massive hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research from KPMG's 2021 Healthcare CEO Future Pulse survey, which surveyed 200 healthcare CEOs across the globe, found health leaders recognize the need to transform in the wake of COVID-19. Most, 68 percent of those surveyed, identified their workforce at the top of the list for transformation with digital delivery models, operations, and care delivery models following.

The pandemic also incited a wave of entrepreneurial excitement for disruptive healthcare delivery businesses starting in 2020. While hospitals and other providers may see relief in early 2022 as inoculation rates rise, hospitals and health systems will need to consider these new entrants into the industry (in pharma and medtech specifically) as they compete for market share, patients, and importantly employees. Additional competition will come from consumer giants like CVS, Amazon, and Google, who are looking to monetize and disrupt traditional care delivery models and replace traditional services with service-at-home care.

Additionally, the need for talent to support digital transformation—think Healthcare IT and technologists—will only expand in the coming years. These skillsets are already in high demand within nearly every industry. Healthcare employers should prepare to compete across industries and with industry giants for the talent needed to support their digital transformation initiatives.

As healthcare innovation is anticipated to continue, the market demand for skilled talent in the healthcare space will continue to grow, and the ability of the industry to innovate beyond the pandemic will depend on the labor market and talent pipelines.

Traditional healthcare employers will have to reimagine recruitment strategies, starting with their employer brand and employer value proposition to ensure they will win the talent they need.

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