The effects of COVID-19 continue to reverberate throughout the healthcare sector, even as infection rates across the United States have fallen since the height of the pandemic. Getting those numbers under control remains a high priority, alongside tackling major issues that in some cases grew out of the pandemic. Let’s look at three of the most pressing issues those working in healthcare leadership are facing now and examine how they’re addressing them.

1. Revamping Hiring and Retention Strategies

Many healthcare professionals, including those at the leadership level, are reaching retirement age and leaving the workforce. At the same time, the “great resignation” spurred in part by the COVID-19 pandemic has created further shortfalls in healthcare staffing. Healthcare leaders must now adjust the traditional workplace experience to attract new, younger candidates. This includes offering more benefits, greater flexibility, and access to additional resources to better cope with the inherent stress of medical careers and balance work and personal responsibilities.

The upside of these staffing challenges is more employment opportunities for professionals with the necessary qualifications. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for medical and health services managers will increase by 28% between 2021 and 2031—much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. During the same time span, the BLS projects employment in healthcare professions overall to grow by 13%, a rate also much faster than the average for all occupations.

2. Keeping More Patients at Home

The pandemic compelled healthcare leaders to take a fresh look at traditional healthcare delivery methods, and many of them are now considering expanding home care options as a permanent solution, where possible. Home care includes a combination of virtual office visits, device-driven remote monitoring of patients, skilled nursing home visits, and home modifications such as the addition of ramps and rails. With many physicians confident that home care can be delivered at the same level of quality as facility-based care, home care could become the norm, especially for older adults with chronic conditions, as early as 2025.

3. Fortifying Cyber Security Capabilities

Cyberattacks are an ongoing threat to healthcare institutions and the patients they serve. The advent of smart medical devices—the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)—makes a hospital’s internal networks, cloud storage, and equipment only part of the equation. The IoMT technology used in remote monitoring equipment can also be hacked, interrupting care and potentially endangering the patient, in addition to raising the cost for their care.

Cyberattacks on the healthcare sector are on the rise. During 2021, more than 600 breaches were reported in the U.S. healthcare sector and more than 22 million patients had their private data compromised. Small- and medium-sized institutions are the most common targets. Under such threats, healthcare institutions are fortifying their cyber security capabilities. Market research shows that the cyber security market for the global healthcare industry reached nearly $13 billion in 2020, and that number is expected to more than quadruple by 2030.

Complex, Interconnected Issues

Home care can help alleviate issues caused by staffing shortages, but it also requires a greater investment in cyber security, since remote care technology is highly susceptible to cyberattacks. Understanding these connections, it’s easy to see why these issues are so front-and-center for healthcare leaders—and how they underscore the need for skilled professionals who can become healthcare leaders and tackle the problems that might emerge in the coming years. Through our AACSB-accredited College of Business, UT Permian Basin offers an online degree program that helps you build these healthcare leadership qualities.

Become a Healthcare Trendsetter

As a healthcare leader, you must foresee potential issues and make the right decisions to address those issues effectively. We can help you develop the required expertise with our online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Healthcare Leadership, an affordable program designed for students who hold an AAS-degree in a healthcare-related field.

Built on a general education foundation that incorporates courses in the humanities, mathematics, history, languages, and sciences, our program explores key leadership subjects both within and outside the context of healthcare organizations, including:

  • Occupational health and safety
  • Project management
  • Principles of management and marketing
  • Human resource management
  • Quantitative decision-making tools

Hone Your Healthcare Leadership Expertise Online

Our BAAS in healthcare leadership is delivered in an asynchronous, 100% online format that enables you to complete coursework at your own pace from practically any location on the planet. There are no required campus visits. You can earn your bachelor’s degree while giving professional or personal commitments the attention they deserve. All courses are led by the same renowned faculty who teach at our campus.

Become the healthcare leader you were meant to be! Apply now.