Industry cross-collaboration builds capacity in the HIT workforce
29 March 2023
The pace of innovation and advancement of digital health in Australia has undoubtedly hastened in recent years. To support and sustain this growth, we must increase capacity in the workforce to meet not only existing requirements, but also future demand. Additionally, alongside the natural consequences of a growing population, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed crucial gaps in our healthcare workforces. Many healthcare organisations struggled with the increased pressures of treating high volumes of high-acuity patients. However, community, primary care, and hospital services also needed to deliver rapidly changing models of care to streamline ongoing healthcare resource demands, whilst also balancing how to look after the welfare and changing expectations of their workforce. As such, it comes as no surprise that strengthening the healthcare workforce is a hot topic amongst frontline healthcare workers, executives, policymakers, industry associations, and consumers alike.
The behemoth task of building capability and capacity in our workforce, however, cannot be undertaken by one organisation or agency alone, but requires a collaborative, dynamic effort by the whole industry. It is also important to understand building increased workforce capacity can take decades depending on the skillsets and professions involved. Without small steps, the task can seem daunting. Oracle Health is partnering with the Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH) on a program aimed at contributing to solutions for this challenge by delivering work experience and placement opportunities in our region to simultaneously boost cross-sector leadership development and enhance knowledge and skills across the board.
Piloted throughout 2021 and 2022, the program has fostered the placement of Dr Alex Duong from Monash Health and successfully demonstrated the benefits of the cross-pollination of skills and knowledge between frontline healthcare workers and Oracle Health. “Oracle Health’s work placement program for client clinicians is an amazing initiative that provides exposure to a broad range of applications and workflows in different environments (hospitals), while also developing rich connections within the Oracle Health community,” commented Dr Alex Duong, lead physician executive, Oracle Health and emergency physician/deputy chief medical information officer, Monash Health. “The chance to be involved with the implementation of the Oracle Health suite in other organisations provides rich experience and an in-depth understanding of the product, which is valuable to both the client and Oracle Health. Additionally, clinicians participating in this program have access to Oracle Health’s extensive learning library and courses, providing them the opportunity to upskill in many of the company’s domains.”
Health professionals wishing to take part in the program can expect full immersion in the clinical executive role at Oracle Health. As Dr Duong suggests, benefits of the placement include the enhancement of informatics skills, attainment of solution insights, and a broadened industry perspective, as well as in-depth, hands-on Oracle Health experience that can be utilised in real-world settings.
The delivery of this program has been made possible through tight collaboration across the local health IT ecosystem. “Working collaboratively with industry in providing opportunities and career options to attract and retain digital health and informatics expertise is a critical piece of the puzzle,” stated Greg Moran, director of strategy and workforce advancement, AIDH. “The placement program with Oracle Health is just one way we can assist and provide options in professional development and building workforce capability in digital health. This aligns to broader efforts in the Capability Action Plan (CAP) where the AIDH is leading national digital health workforce initiatives in partnership with the Australian Digital Health Agency. The CAP seeks to advance workforce capability to deliver on national digital health strategic priorities. Attracting and retaining skills and expertise whilst building professional and career pathways is one of the key actions in the CAP.”
“One of the benefits in this partnership approach is that we can provide professionals with an avenue to gain broad exposure and understanding of the different areas of digital health without individuals having to make a career decision to move from their existing position,” summarised Michael Draheim, chief clinical information officer for Oracle Health in APAC. “Furthermore, the opportunity to work in different areas concurrently, supports the stainability of our existing workforce and helps to influence what our future health workforce will look like.”
If you are interested in taking part in the Oracle Health program, please reach out to your organisation’s Oracle Health representative.