As our economy continues to recover, and more of the population has access to health insurance coverage, the need for healthcare workers is increasing—particularly for those who can support outpatient and primary care services. If you’re already in this space, more demand can mean better compensation. But, do your health skills align with the new demands?
As the healthcare delivery system transforms to become more focused on improving the health of an entire panel or population of patients who are now becoming more informed consumers, a variety of new skills are required. For example, instead of treating each patient only for their chief complaint when they arrive at the office, the Care Team members must consider all of the health needs of that patient. Do they need a flu shot or a diabetic foot exam in addition to receiving treatment for a sprained ankle?
Evaluating the patient holistically requires the ability to use and analyze data. Because each patient visit needs to consider much more than just a single complaint, resources can be stretched thin. The industry has need of Care Team members with health skills related to identification of patient needs across the population and the ability to stratify the population according to their level of need or risk. Limited industry resources can also require that new, streamlined processes are created and all team members are working to the “top of their license.”
It's Shared Professional Goals That Will Deliver Care Team Skills Improvement
I also mentioned the Care Team, which means healthcare workers must work together with a variety of professionals such as pharmacists, dieticians, physicians, health coaches, and others. Working as a part of a team that has shared goals and shared decision-making requires new skills in communication, delegation, and responsibility.
New population health-focused care delivery models, such as the patient-centered medical home, require the application of new skills, tactics and techniques beyond what has traditionally been taught in nursing or medical school. To stay relevant and in-demand, you need to hone your skillset to be successful in today’s and tomorrow’s healthcare delivery system. Will you be ready?
We created The Geneia Institute nearly two years ago to meet the need for learning the industry’s evolving skill sets.
We deliver education and skills-based courses in population health management, behavioral change, and team-based care delivery to physicians, patient care teams, and health leaders. Our two upcoming courses—Evolving with the System: The Changing Role of the Medical Assistant in the Delivery of Team-Based Care which begins on February 10th and Coordinating Care in a Fragmented System beginning of March 14th—help nurses, clinicians, and medical assistants gain and practice the kind of population health skills that hospitals, patient-centered medical homes, and accountable care organizations are increasingly demanding of their staffs.