The New Shape of Work interview series addresses the challenges and uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus with a focus on how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.

Throughout the pandemic, the healthcare industry has faced a variety of significant risks from rising demand for service, rapid technology adoption and a workforce on the front line of the pandemic response. 

Our conversation today focuses on the accelerated people risks healthcare providers experienced during the peak of COVID crisis and continuing through to today. We are bringing together John Derse, Healthcare Industry Vertical Leader at Mercer, and Gigi Norris Health Industry Expert from Marsh to share the complex challenges and risks the healthcare provider industry is facing now, and their ideas on how providers can address those issues now and in the near future. 

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Interesting moments from the interview:

  • Recognizing burnout

    "The consequence of shrugging your shoulders [and assuming the workforce challenges will pass] is so dire because burnout and staffing levels have such a direct impact on errors that can be experienced by patients if staff is not adequately prepared, or is not sufficient in numbers to deal with the patient population that they are handling."
  • The individual employee experience

    "Waiting for a fix is tempting because the solution, [and] the approach, is hard and it's different. It's harder than anything this industry is really had to try before because there's no silver bullet. There's no one thing that an organization can do. It is a combination of things woven together around the work environment around the individual employee experience. Around the work itself in terms of how it's designed, and skills versus jobs and agility. These are all things that are going on now, but it's complex."
  • Fulfilling important critical needs

    "Organizations really now are starting to take a step back to understand what are the tasks, what is the body of work that needs to be done, and how do we organize our skills and people that can up-skill to fill some of these important critical needs that we're going to have going forward."
  • Giving time off to combat burnout

    "Stress claims in workers’ compensation are also something that you see affected by understaffing, and by burnout. People become so stressed that they have to take time off work. All these things are related. Which one of the things I really liked about what John is saying with regards to looking at new skills, it also provides the potential to give people more job satisfaction which is a counterpoint to a lot of what we're seeing in terms of burnout and stress."

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