Increasing worker productivity through technology, data analytics and more efficient processes are keys to boosting and beating the skills crisis. For the nation as a whole, just a one percentage point gain in efficiency adds $14 billion to the productive power of the nation, (Deloitte Access Economics.)
The current skills shortage also represents a huge opportunity. Increasing productivity would have clear and significant impacts on GDP and labour supply but would also help improve service levels and lower waste emissions.
In the absence of major reforms, Australia can use strategic investment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a productivity catalyst.
Section 9 of Where is your next worker? examines:
Medication-related health and safety problems place unnecessary resource and cost demands on healthcare systems. Medication errors – when one or more medications negatively impact an individual’s health – place increased pressure on public hospitals, primary care providers and other healthcare providers.
eHealth frameworks such as “medicine use review” solutions support healthcare providers by identifying potential health and safety concerns with prescribed medications in a nationally consistent manner. This requires a patient’s complete medication history, rather than the localised history maintained by a single provider. Alerts and warnings raised by medicine use review solutions can help healthcare providers identify potential health and safety concerns with prescribed medications. They also provide a basis for discussing these with patients to determine the safest course of medication. Such intervention would significantly reduce the incidence of medication errors.
Medicine use review solutions have been shown to reduce preventable medication errors by between 50% and 75%. This represents a significant opportunity for productivity improvement.63 For example, a national medicine use review service in Australia could reduce medication error-related hospitalisations by between 490,000 and 736,000 over 10 years of operation.
|Developing workforce talents and skills for evolving roles
Personal growth and internal mobility strategies are the key for many businesses as they overlook the enormous potential of their own staff in the struggle to meet skills shortages and the race to recruit external talent.
|Succession planning required to retain future leaders
With the danger of losing key staff and future leaders, business needs to consider how to retain the best people, including those at the beginning and the end of their careers.
|Engaging employees for greater productivity
The cost of disengagement for Australian businesses is more than $39 billion a year, so it makes sense that beating the skills shortage, and improving productivity, will come from greater engagement.