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November 18, 2020

Royal Philips has announced the publication of the U.S. Edition of its Future Health Index 2020 Report, the first global survey of its kind.

Now in its fifth year, the Future Health Index 2020 report – ‘The age of opportunity: Empowering the next generation to transform healthcare’ – reveals critical insights from healthcare professionals under the age of 40, a group that will comprise most of the healthcare workforce over the next 20 years. The findings paint a realistic picture of the state of healthcare systems on the eve of the COVID-19 crisis, covering nearly 3,000 respondents across 15 countries. Next generation American healthcare professionals were among those experiencing the highest levels of work-related stress (79%).

Over three-quarters (82%) of younger American healthcare professionals say that managing the stress and pressures of being a healthcare professional is important to their work. However, only 40% feel their education prepared them to manage stress, and 71% lack continuous education on stress management from their hospital or practice.

Another issue facing younger American healthcare professionals that may be contributing to their stress is the ability to impact the decision-making processes within their organizations. Only 42% of younger American healthcare professionals feel like they are able to drive change in how their hospital or practice is managed. They also indicated that decisions being made by non-medical leaders have a negative impact on their job satisfaction (89%).

Despite data and technology being integral to their daily lives, personally and professionally, nearly half (45%) of younger American healthcare professionals say they are overwhelmed by the amount of digital patient data they receive. At the same time, over half see the benefits of digital technologies, such as the electronic medical record (EMR), and think they will enhance patient outcomes and experiences (58% and 55% respectively). About half (55%) of this same group of professionals are most concerned for their own career about an increased administrative burden as a result of the implementation of digital health technologies.

Philips also released findings from a subsequent pulse survey titled Future Health Index Insights: COVID-19 and younger healthcare professionals, which reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the attitudes and experiences of around 500 younger doctors in the U.S., China, France, Germany and Singapore. Surprisingly, younger doctors noted that their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic have not had an impact on their likelihood to stay in or leave medicine (66%).

A majority of next generation American doctors also recognized an accelerated availability of digital health technologies. Beyond the increased volume, more than half of them recognized they had been exposed to new ways to use digital health technology (59%) and new types of digital health technologies (54%) and over a third of younger American doctors hoped these new ways (41%) and types (35%) of digital health technologies will outlast the COVID-19 crisis.

“To unleash the power of younger healthcare professionals, the U.S. must invest in advanced systems of engagement beyond the EMR that fit into the physician’s workflow as well as data sharing tools and technologies that can help them treat patients and reduce stress. This will help to improve the work-life balance for American healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Joseph Frassica, chief medical officer and head of research for Philips North America. “We also need to focus on tools to help with administrative and business management processes and then give these professionals the autonomy they need to focus on what is most important to them – delivering exceptional patient care.”




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