Effective Integration of Technology and Human Capital Development in Healthcare

Effective Integration of Technology and Human Capital Development in Healthcare

Terrence Duncan (Liberty University, USA), Gary James Hanney (South University, USA), Darrell Norman Burrell (The Florida Institute of Technology, USA) and Emad Rahim (Bellevue University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9810-7.ch011
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Human capital development is important for organizations and most industries in the United States of America (USA). In the healthcare industry, human capital development is a priority due to the variety of skilled and unique positions within one of the most regulated industries within the USA. Integration of work processes, operational efficiencies, and assimilating regulatory changes are a pre-requisite for human resource professionals to remain competitive as well as remain operationally relevant. Information technology adoption in healthcare must continue to improve to address some of the industry's largest challenges: turnover, retention, and education. The intent of this chapter is to outline the existing challenges of human capital development in healthcare and how information technology provides significant value to closing the gaps of the alarming trends that exist in the industry.
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The integration of technology into everyday life and operations continues to expand at a prolific rate. Benefits of technology include increased efficiencies, improved communication, effective integration of logistics between buyer and supplier, as well as improved decision-making using business analytics. The healthcare industry benefits from technology and improved technological advances; however, it remains to be under-utilized.

The healthcare industry is one of the largest industries in the United States according to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (G.D.P.). According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare is approximately 18% of U.S. G.D.P., with a growth rate as of 2016 at 4.3% (Duncan, Rahim, & Burrell, 2018). Numerous intervening factors exist that will continue to grow the cost of healthcare and the industry itself. Such factors include a projected increase of an aging population with chronic health disorders; expansions of different specialties to address healthcare treatment needs; and cost of care.

Coupled with the anticipated growth of the industry is the increased need for skilled laborers. Despite the demand required to fill these specialty positions and to care for the aging population and address other healthcare needs, significant shortages in physicians and nurses are anticipated over the next decade (Kirch & Petelle, 2017). As the likelihood of hiring to meet the expected demand will fall short, providers and facilities operating within the healthcare industry must consider different ways to attract and retain employees.

Employee turnover compounds shortages in crucial staffing areas. Management often focuses on reactive measures on addressing turnover. One of the root causes related to turnover derives from the lack of training, whether it is during the orientation period or other situations requiring critical decision-making that may affect someone’s life. Although most positions involving a professional license requires continuing education in core competency and skills, the combination of a lack of adequate staffing, personnel, and time compete against these requirements. This creates additional strain on existing resources to meet the needs and demand of the patients.

Technology provides employers with strategic advantages for human resources development. Qualitative and quantitative data can be extrapolated from surveys, exit interviews, and other means of data collection to assist in identifying critical opportunities for improvement. Investments in human capital stimulate innovation. The nurturing effect of change from within provide organizations an opportunity to add new knowledge to previous existing knowledge (Kong, 2015). As healthcare organizations must demonstrate the ability to adapt and improve flexibility due to a confluence of regulatory, economic, and political changes, innovation is vital for organizational success.

Human capital development is a critical stage of development globally. Traditional methods of human capital development are not as applicable in this current era. Economic, social, and technological factors are factors that affect most industries as the boundaries are either being eliminated or redefined. Coupled with the fact that current and future generations of workers are becoming more reliant on technology for dissemination of information and productivity, global industries are at a crux for developing human capital.

From the 2000s to the present, the Fourth Revolution is defined by advances in technology vis a vis global industrial networks, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and innovations in the delivery of information (Mamedov, Mienva, & Glinchevsky, 2019). Ongoing dialogue and research continue to exist examining the development of human capital; efficiently integrating technology; and understanding the combination of the two to address significant and dramatic shifts in business models and globalization. Advancements in technology continue to create new opportunities for industries to spurn innovation, streamline work processes, and improve the overall quality of life.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Evidenced-Based Medicine (EBM): Practice of medicine by medical professionals in the field using well-documented and research to provide optimal treatment results and outcomes.

Internet of Things: Defines connectivity between the Internet and everyday objects, activities, and devices.

Social Intelligence: The ability and the capacity of an individual to know oneself and others around the social spectrum. Derives from self-awareness and relationships among others.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Refers to the practice or the allowance of staff and personnel to bring their own personal device which could include smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Health Informatics: The study, design, and implementation of information technology innovations in the healthcare industry.

Human Capital: Defines human resources in terms of assets which includes knowledge, skills, and abilities of individuals.

Cloud Computing: Provides users the ability to save or retrieve data information for the use of storage and continue ongoing work process without an active hardline management or data retrieval system.

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