The widening gap between the digital capability of the care workforce and technology-enabled healthcare delivery: a nursing and allied health analysis

Meg E. Morris, Natasha K. Brusco, Jeff Jones, Nicholas F. Taylor, Christine E. East, Adam I. Semciw, Kristina Edvardsson, Claire Thwaites, Sharon L. Bourke, Urooj Raza Khan, Sally Fowler-Davis, Brian Oldenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a need to ensure that healthcare organisations enable their workforces to use digital methods in service delivery. This study aimed to evaluate the current level of digital understanding and ability in nursing, midwifery, and allied health workforces and identify some of the training requirements to improve digital literacy in these health professionals. Representatives from eight healthcare organizations in Victoria, Australia participated in focus groups. Three digital frameworks informed the focus group topic guide that sought to examine the barriers and enablers to adopting digital healthcare along with training requirements to improve digital literacy. Twenty-three participants self-rated digital knowledge and skills using Likert scales and attended the focus groups. Mid-range scores were given for digital ability in nursing, midwifery, and allied health professionals. Focus group participants expressed concern over the gap between their organizations’ adoption of digital methods relative to their digital ability, and there were concerns about cyber security. Participants also saw a need for the inclusion of consumers in digital design. Given the widening gap between digital innovation and health workforce digital capability, there is a need to accelerate digital literacy by rapidly deploying education and training and policies and procedures for digital service delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number994
Number of pages12
JournalHealthcare
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • allied health
  • care economy
  • care worker
  • consumer
  • digital
  • digital capability
  • digital literacy
  • digital maturity
  • healthcare
  • midwifery
  • nursing
  • workforce

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