May 22, 2022

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Future skills for health workers |  Opinion

Future skills for health workers | Opinion

Consulting partner of the Spanish company Deloitte Latin America, Andean market

The pandemic has emerged as an unexpected and catalyst for unprecedented change that has fueled unprecedented interest in innovation. Technological advances have been adopted so quickly that they have forced organizations to implement new ways of working that were not considered, but are now vital to keeping the business running.

In the face of the increasing wave of infections with the Covid-19 virus, the future of humanity was under control, and in a unique cycle, governments, pharmaceutical companies, laboratories and the entire health ecosystem began to actively work. The response of companies in this sector has been superior, in one of the most flexible processes to develop new materials aimed at creating acquired immunity against disease.

This historic move generated confidence in the face of an uncertain future. Advances in the pharmaceutical industry are rewriting challenges in human management. However, these changes in the sector highlight the need to enhance the competencies of health professionals.

What are the main challenges?

In the 2020 Deloitte study, Rethinking the physician of the future: embracing new technologies, empathy, and new models of care Key aspects were identified, such as empathy, agility, cultural diversity and the need to direct their promotion towards new models of care: telemedicine, telemonitoring and health applications, among others.

Physicians should connect with patients and colleagues from different cultures and focus on building more human relationships both in person and at a distance. To this end, leadership and influencing capabilities are essential to respond to the challenges of the pharmaceutical sector. The health professional, in turn, needs to lead multidisciplinary teams based on daily clinical practice.

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Likewise, technology plays a leading role in making decisions about treatment, prevention, and maintenance of well-being. It is essential that professionals develop the ability to critically evaluate opportunities for program improvement and research outcomes (eg absolute and relative risks or probabilities).

Currently, these skills need to be developed in health professionals and to identify possible alternatives to the challenges unfolded. In this sense, the recommendations are:

Develop and train candidates for leadership positions.

Create a culture focused on listening to the different viewpoints and strategic initiatives of senior management and decision-making in committees.

Discover new approaches to training, measuring, and enhancing skills such as empathy and appreciation of cultural diversity.

Designing training programs that define employees’ requirements, perspectives and life experiences.

Train and reinforce the concepts learned in daily practice and incorporate less traditional practices such as role playing.

Design new visions for medical education to frequently review their content and delivery.

between machines and humans

In the future, algorithms will make it possible to make clinical decisions based on the use of data, which would be impossible to analyze by humans. In this sense, professionals will focus on identifying problems, while machines will help find solutions with a view to checking their suitability.

Ultimately, the pandemic has created a new urgency about fostering a resilient mindset in organizations. Because of the above, the pharmaceutical industry needs to proactively envision the future based on an understanding of the current context and an assimilation of learning. Likewise, differentiation in the value proposition of human resource skills development in the health sector will advance strategic objectives and stimulate adoption processes and response to change.

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This text was prepared in collaboration with Cristhian Ortiz, Consulting Director at Deloitte Spanish America Latin America, Andean Region Marketplace.