2021 Healthcare Sector Round-Up and Top Tips for Improvement
2021 has been another challenging year for the healthcare sector with a number of forces, like the pandemic and Brexit, impinging upon the industry and posing difficulties for staff, practices and other care organisations.
Xeinadin have released their latest report for the healthcare sector, including an analysis of the sector’s year and what it means for you. Here, we summarise the key information and give you some practical tips for future improvement in healthcare operations.
What happened to the healthcare sector in 2020?
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 saw the most challenging period for the healthcare sector for a long time.
An overwhelming number of patients required urgent care and new regulations caused compliance difficulties for smaller practices, including medical practices, nursing homes, child-care facilities and dental practices.
Healthcare practices that were flexible and prepared were able to adapt better to the rapid pandemic-induced changes – and flexibility and preparedness is the key for the healthcare industry to continue to work effectively during the ongoing pandemic.
Other significant influences on the healthcare industry this year have included the transition period for Brexit. Political changes and financial implications of the UK’s break from the EU have resulted in tensions in medical supply chains, including both pharmaceutical supply and labour supply. However, there is hope that Brexit may facilitate changes that could improve technology in the healthcare sector.
Changes to tax-structure post-Brexit may affect how medical practices treat patients and how they plan their budgets.
Both 2020 and 2021 have seen a worker skill-shortage. This shortage was a continuation from the years prior to 2020 that become especially evident when the already volatile NHS urgently needed more staff and space in hospitals. Brexit further impacted the shortage of skilled workers as 6 per cent of healthcare sector workers were employed from the EU.
How to combat staff skill shortage
One of the most pressing problems affecting the healthcare industry, staff skill-shortage poses real challenges for medical providers. The sector can help to reduce the shortage by focusing on the following:
- Apprenticeships – these allow inexperienced workers to develop the required skills to begin careers in the healthcare sector.
- Including other skilled workers – you can hire workers from outside of the industry to make use of transferrable skills and other valuable training.
- Adapting to new methods – make the most of new technologies and innovation to improve working methods.
- Training – produce more skilled workers with general training.
Other tips for the healthcare sector post-2021
One of the best ways to mitigate against future challenges is to be prepared and remain flexible. Here are some more top tips for improvement in the sector:
- Increase training opportunities
- Provide education to reduce skill shortage
- Employ high-skilled workers from other sectors
- Be prepared to respond to changes within and outside of the sector
- Incorporate efficiency standards to reduce resource usage and benefit the environment
- Embrace new technologies
- Be prepared for ongoing Covid-19 challenges
- Continue to be flexible
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