By Rick Hammell, CEO and Co-Founder, Elements Global Services
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, investments in technology were expected to revolutionize the health care system. An article from SHRM revealed that bigger investments in technology would “be a key factor in enhancing team collaboration, improving performance, and boosting engagement and retention efforts.”
While the digital experience for the healthcare industry is essential, a study by The Workforce Institute and Regina Corso Consulting revealed that only 41% of HR executives and 34% of nurses “feel strongly that their organization currently provides tools and resources that empower them to perform to their fullest potential.” Additionally, more than half of hospital HR executives are turning to Human Capital Management (HCM) systems to help track employees’ skills, certifications and licensures, automate the recruiting process and integrate payroll. While these technologies might make some HR executives’ jobs easier, only 21% of HR executives, 12% of IT staff and 11% of nurses report being “very satisfied” with the HCM technologies their organizations use.
However, another solution is available – the utilization and implementation of HR technology in the form of a direct Employer of Record (EOR), a strategic model in the form of a partnership that manages the legal, HR, tax and local compliance responsibilities of your employees in any country where you lack a legal entity. As the usage of technology continues to evolve and hybrid workplaces become more prevalent, HR technology innovations can greatly benefit the healthcare industry. Specifically, HR technology can increase security on proprietary data, expand the global workforce for healthcare companies and push the ability of remote work forward through revolutionary technology.
Cyberattacks Cost the Healthcare Industry Billions
As previously mentioned, advancements to healthcare IT infrastructures are expected to transform the healthcare industry in the coming years; however, there is a great need for a new kind of electronic health record. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, healthcare providers encounter continuous frustrations with “user interfaces and usability issues, the quality of the data entered, the limited ability of the data to support discovery and interoperability among systems.”
These issues with current electronic health records and those systems that keep patient, staff and medical records separate increase the vulnerability against cyberattacks as does the risk of proprietary data being stolen. In an April article, Hello Health revealed that the healthcare industry fell victim to two to three times more cyberattacks in 2021 than the average numbers for other industries, costing hospitals $20 billion in 2020 alone.
More and more pain points arose throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare organizations have demonstrated a willingness to allow staff members to use their own devices for record keeping purposes and appointments, including iPhones, iPads and tablets, at their place of work. As the shift to remote work continues to rise, the use of video-conferencing tools, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype, are creating more entry points for possible hacks and adding another layer of vulnerability.
While alleviating security woes can be tricky and time consuming, healthcare organizations can work with a provider in the form of an Employer of Record that handles payroll and benefits administration, centralizing healthcare IT infrastructure systems so staff can access personal and proprietary data in a safe way, even if it’s through their own device.
This condensed IT system reduces the cost of supplying select technology, including iPhone, iPads and tablets, to your staff to only use at their place of work. With updated HR technology, healthcare organizations and companies are able to partition the cloud,separating confidential data from less sensitive materials for easy-access even when staff is not at work.
HR Tech: Offering Limitless Talent to Healthcare Companies
The adoption of the hybrid workplace model has led to increased movement among employees. According to NPR, with millions of Americans working remotely, “some took the unprecedented opportunity to shift their lives in a new direction — crossing their fingers that when it’s safe to go back to the office, they won’t have to.”
In PwC’s US Remote Work Survey, 55% of employees surveyed prefer to be remote at least three days a week once pandemic concerns diminish while 68% of executives believe an employee should be in the office at least three days a week.
With employees shifting to working from different states or even countries, HR technology and an EOR model can reduce the stresses of maintaining employees as they move and even assist healthcare organizations with obtaining a larger talent pool. An EOR manages the legal, HR, tax and local compliance responsibilities of your employees in any country where you lack a legal entity, allowing companies to employ from around the globe with a limitless talent pool.
For example, a medical tech startup, located in California, might utilize technology that really pushes the healthcare industry forward. However, only a few people in the world may understand that technology or be able to assist that startup bring the technology to market. Those people may be in Japan, India or the UK. With an EOR and its technology backbone, that startup can quickly build their global workforce as an EOR handles all visa and work permits, payroll and taxes, labor laws and language awareness in each country where an employee resides.
When the talent pool opens, delivering the IT infrastructure to organizations is the next step. Before the implementation of HR technology, it was extremely difficult to have nurses and doctors work remotely and utilize technology to see patients due to the hands-on nature of their positions. Those positions in the healthcare field like medical research and analysis, medical delivery and drug and technology development lend more to remote working. With HR technology, healthcare organizations can treat every employee the same. Each employee, even those that tend to need to be more hands on, will have access to the IT and technology to view benefits, payroll, access patient information and much more.
Growth of HR Technology Pushes Remote Working Forward
As we enter into the back half of 2021, one of the biggest trends we are witnessing within healthcare HR is the prioritization of the well-being and mental health of employees. A study by Paycor revealed that 86% of business leaders are concerned about mental health in the workplace but 45% were unsure of what benefits they could offer that might help employees.
Now more than ever, it is imperative for companies and organizations to support employees across the globe with well-being solutions including online education, access to key information, one-on-one meetings and employee surveys.
With the idea of well-being and mental health in mind, is it in your employees’ best interest to return to the office right away? Certain industries will have to determine that, including the healthcare industry. Medical professionals still need to operate and see patients. Now, with updated technology and the ability to employ from across the globe, healthcare workers can also act as consultants. For example, one patient can appear on Zoom with 10 doctors listening, collaborating and deciding the best course of treatment.
For the foreseeable future, we predict we will continue to see this hybrid working model as technological developments and advancements continue. While Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype existed before the pandemic, these technologies now provide a different way or working. The same could be said for an EOR model, allowing companies who have dreamed of global expansion do so in a seamless, simple way.
While we might see an eventual shift from remote working to craving socialization and workplace comradery, HR technology is still able to benefit healthcare organizations no matter what your workplace environment looks like, allowing employees to access their personal and proprietary data anywhere, anytime, in the office or at their homes.
The door to the future is open, and the success of many industries will rely on their ability to adapt, innovate, and be forward-thinking. HR technology is crucial to transform and bring the healthcare industry into the future. HR technology supports healthcare staffs to successfully address the increased demand for telehealth solutions and provide the best care to their patients. As healthcare workers are able to access personal and professional data at work or on the go, healthcare organizations can expand and revolutionize their global workforce, offering seamless, hybrid working models and increased security wherever employees might be.