Covid catalyst for change to Australian Healthcare system


The 2021 KPMG Global Healthcare CEO Outlook has revealed 93 percent of Australian Healthcare CEOs say COVID-19 has accelerated their need to transform their organisations.

Australian key findings from the report include:

  • 87.5 percent are placing emphasis on improving the patient experience.
  • 83 percent have confidence that patients/customers will increasingly self-manage their healthcare
  • 75 percent are confident healthcare will evolve from using hospitals to more care delivered in the community.

Australian CEOs of hospitals, health systems, and provider networks stated that many aspects of care delivery models will be transformed within the next three years with supporting operational change.

Kerry McGough, National Health, Aging & Human Services Lead, KPMG Australia said: “During COVID-19 we’ve seen a dramatic shift from ‘in person’ care to digital delivery of services and we expect this to continue. Healthcare organisations must look to new delivery and operating models to reduce or stabilise the increasing demand on health services and the cost of care if we are to maintain a high quality and accessible health system in Australia.”

Interestingly, 66 percent of Australian CEOs surveyed considered themselves slow adopters of transformation while identifying the healthcare sector as lagging behind other industries in transforming their operating models.

Three priority areas of healthcare investment

  • Virtual care
  • Clinical decision support systems
  • Remote monitoring

Digital enablement of services will be a key focus for health leaders in the next two years and will remain a priority within the next five years. Only a quarter of Australian organisations surveyed are currently investing in shifting from in-person to digital care delivery.

Evan Rawstron, Partner in Charge, Policy, Programs & Evaluation and Global Co-Lead, for Connected Enterprise for Healthcare said: “Australians CEO’s also indicate that using advanced analytics or artificial intelligence will be vital to helping them improve their operating models within the next 5 years. This invites a critical conversation regarding making the most of data in healthcare, and the necessary skills and capabilities needed to generate the data-driven insights for improvement and transformation of organisations.”

“Thinking smarter about care delivery models, using data to promote sustainable models and rethinking the workforce requirements under emerging service delivery and operating models will be critical enablers to future workforce strategies.”

Workforce worries

Despite borders closures and reductions in labour supply from overseas, and in contrast to their international counterparts, over 50 percent of CEOs do not see the availability of staff as an issue in Australia. They indicate in order to retain talent there is a need to focus on proactive recruitment campaigns, workforce wellness, and promoting diversity and inclusiveness.

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