In a world that is already going through major changes due to technological advancement, the business of healthcare is evolving to meet the demands of a new fast-paced culture. Today, we want everything immediately, and this has created opportunities for optimisation in the world of healthcare. Will you be ready to ride with these changes, or will you fall behind to outdated healthcare systems and practices?
The Millennials run the world..?
In the world of healthcare, there are a major demographic changes taking place. The baby boomers are retiring and the group that will make up the bulk of the next workforce, the millennial generation, has arrived. As a result, the culture of healthcare is changing dramatically.
Now it’s official — millennials officially passed Generation Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Commonly described as people born in the early 1980s through the end of the millennium, millennials are comfortable with both the old school, analog age and the new digital world as well.
Millennials are often described in a negative context by people of older generations, but from my experience as an employer of many millennials, there are many positive traits in this new workforce that go beyond the derogatory stereotypes.
You Need To Be Ready for the Millennial Workforce
With millennials dominating today’s workforce, you really can’t afford to ignore the impact this workforce is having, and will continue to have, on healthcare.
Driven to make an impact, millennials are ambitious and goal-oriented. The healthcare profession as a whole tends to balk at embracing new technologies, but millennials have no such reservations. They love new technological advancements, such as the cloud, that offer flexibility and more efficient ways of performing healthcare tasks.
We believe millennials will accelerate the widespread adoption of technology into the world of healthcare, which will, in turn, contribute to changes in the way key healthcare providers interact with their patients.
Hierarchical office-bound systems and older management models are definitely not appealing to this incoming workforce. These twenty-somethings are not interested in outdated systems and dull restrictions. So it’s time to loosen up and welcome this tech-savvy group with open arms because there really is no way to avoid the millennials. And if you hope to continue to survive into the future as a healthcare provider, your practice needs to accommodate this changing workforce.
So consider giving your employee benefits a more contemporary appeal, with more flexible hours, and adopting the latest technology, which, for many millennials are more attractive than pay raises. Look at it from their viewpoint: would you rather be working with mobile technology or pushing pen to paper? Ringing in the changes will take time; this is a process and not an event. It will take time to gently change your focus and bring others along for the next big and rewarding investment in your practice.
Moving healthcare to the Cloud
Start with cost effective automated bookkeeping and no email communications.
For cost effective and great examples on how to manage your practice better watch this video
We predict by the end of 2019, more than 80 percent of small- and medium-sized practices will be using cloud software, starting with cloud accounting software. Why? It’s inexpensive, user-friendly, and incredibly convenient for both accountants and their clients. The main challenge for practitioners is to find an adviser who is not threatened by this technology and who is prepared to share and embrace all the efficiencies you need now to remain competitive.
At Health and Life, we are experienced using cloud technology. It works for us, and it will work for you. Aside from the efficiency benefits that the cloud brings to your practice, it also demonstrates that you are a practice that is open to new ideas that can optimise older strategies. This is essential if you want to attract millennials and prepare yourself for the new age of healthcare.
You have probably already heard about or used online accounting services like Xero and Quickbooks, but these are not the only options available. More and more practices are taking their accounting and systems such as SMS staff rostering to the cloud in order to meet their unique requirements.
There are many other great ways to take advantage of this new, more efficient cloud computing space. For example, you can have a no email environment. This eliminates unnecessary meetings and poor communications that lack context or are hard to follow. All solutions are conveniently available on your mobile phone or tablet device. For more great ideas see Practice Automation – work smarter and not harder. Practice automation is fun, cheaper, improves quality, staff morale and makes life less stressful for everyone.
What about security?
Security, or lack of it, is a major issue in most practices. For example, in our experience, many practices continually re-use the same password, or share around a password, one that is not frequently changed. This is a big security problem. Much tighter security and cost-effective systems like Last Pass simplify this and tighten controls. It is especially convenient when a staff member leaves or joins and you need to be able to instantly stop or grant access to multiple software programs. It is also great for practice IT accreditation.
For more about security read this blog.
Most practices have an on site server where physical back ups of data or remote back ups are stored – but these may fail. So systems are often backed up offsite with NASA security cleared environments.
We have recently moved to data storage on the cloud. We found it safer, reliable, convenient and cost effective – no more blackout or virus problems.
Once you are in the cloud there are many opportunities to simplify your systems and processes such as automatic rostering and following up of staff, freeing up your valuable staff to concentrate on their tasks.
Cloud computing has matured, where even the Australian Tax Office is now moving to the cloud. For example, for client tax returns who use Xero, the Australian Taxation Office electronic signatures are accepted on tax returns. This is great news when it comes to chasing people for signatures on their annual leave forms, company minutes, employment contracts, contractor agreements, tax returns or anything else you need approval for. This is much better than no signature.
Financial security is your ultimate end game?
Finally, a word about the future.
Your practice or business is an investment, and this applies to investing for your retirement. When it comes time to sell down or sell out it may represent your biggest retirement savings asset. You don’t want to leave your practice with nothing or even in debt.
So it is important to timely invest and protect this, your second most valuable thing in life (after your loved ones). You need to include it in your long term plans. Succession planning is a process and not an event, and it cannot be achieved in one day, so start now.
If you would like to know more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or see our article Time to future proof yourself, start with a future proof accountant/advisor and start focussing on the fun stuff? See Is it time to change to a proactive accountant/adviser?