Special Issue "Healthcare Work and the Role of Clients in Change"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Economics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Tarja Heponiemi
Website
Guest Editor
National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
Interests: digitalization of healthcare; eHealth; mHealth; digital exclusion; migration; migrant healthcare workers; integration; competent workforce; service concepts; care processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Healthcare worldwide is facing several challenges which impact the working life and operational environment in the sector and also affects the role of clients. Aging population and workforce in many countries, multiculturalism, and digitalization, accompanied with disparities between needs for services and available resources, will challenge established knowledge and practices and request renewed expertise and approaches.

The number of digital health services is increasing rapidly in many countries. This rapid change demands a cultural change from organizations, professionals, and clients. Clients are expected to step into a more skilled and active role, whereas professionals and health providers need to change their work processes and professional identity. There is also a risk that new digital services will increase social exclusion if the needs of potentially vulnerable groups such as older people, migrants, and mental health service users are not accounted for. This requires fundamental changes in professionals’ work and organizational processes, and the lack of these changes may hinder the adoption of digital services and lead to digital exclusion.

Increased migration results in healthcare becoming increasingly multicultural. In many countries, migrant healthcare employees fill in the shortage of, for example, physicians and nurses. While cultural diversity may enrich work environment and promote cultural competence, it also poses challenges to management of multicultural work teams in terms of language competence, communication, conflicts of values and cultural habits, equitable work division, and full use of the potential of both native and migrant workers. At the same time, migrants are increasingly clients in healthcare, which challenges employees’ skills and knowledge in responding to the needs of a culturally diverse clientele. Particular migrant groups, such as applicants for asylum, may have faced serious trauma events with physical and mental health effects, which impact service needs and require specific competencies from the professionals. 

Moreover, to tackle all the challenges of contemporary healthcare, healthcare providers have conducted many reforms and innovations related to, for example, division of labor and skill mix, integration, service concepts, new models for purchasing and providing care, public–private partnerships, and care processes.

This Special Issue in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is devoted to new research related to these topics which on the one hand challenge the healthcare sector worldwide but on the other hand offer solutions to arrange healthcare in new and perhaps more efficient ways.

A wide range of topics will be included in this issue related to challenges and opportunities of contemporary healthcare in a world that is getting increasingly digital, multicultural, and global, as well as influenced by the use of social media.

Prof. Dr. Tarja Heponiemi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • digitalization of healthcare
  • eHealth
  • mHealth
  • digital exclusion
  • migration
  • migrant healthcare workers
  • integration
  • competent workforce
  • service concepts
  • care processes

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Tailoring EHRs for Specific Working Environments Improves Work Well-Being of Physicians
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4715; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134715 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
Electronic health records (EHRs) have an impact on physicians’ well-being and stress levels. We studied physicians’ experiences with EHRs and their experienced time pressure and self-rated stress by an electronic questionnaire sent to Finnish physicians aged under 65 in 2017. Our sample was [...] Read more.
Electronic health records (EHRs) have an impact on physicians’ well-being and stress levels. We studied physicians’ experiences with EHRs and their experienced time pressure and self-rated stress by an electronic questionnaire sent to Finnish physicians aged under 65 in 2017. Our sample was 2980 physicians working in the public sector, health care centers (35.5%) or hospitals (64.5%). Experienced technical problems were positively associated with experienced time pressure, whereas user-friendliness of the EHRs was negatively associated with experienced time pressure. Low perceived support for internal cooperation was associated with high levels of time pressure in hospitals. Those experiencing high levels of technical problems were 1.3 times more likely to experience stress compared to those experiencing low levels of technical problems. Better user-friendliness of the EHRs was associated with lower levels of self-rated stress. In both working environments but more strongly in primary health care, technical problems were associated with self-rated stress. Technical problems and user-friendliness of EHRs are the main factors associated with time pressure and self-rated stress. Health care environments differ in the nature of workflow having different demands on the EHRs. Developing EHR systems should consider the special needs of different environments and workflows, enabling better work well-being amongst physicians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Work and the Role of Clients in Change)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Identifying the Roles of Healthcare Leaders in HIT Implementation: A Scoping Review of the Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082865 - 21 Apr 2020
Abstract
Despite major investment, health information technology (HIT) implementation often tends to fail. One of the reasons for HIT implementation failure is poor leadership in healthcare organisations, and thus, more research is needed on leaders’ roles in HIT implementation. The aim of the review [...] Read more.
Despite major investment, health information technology (HIT) implementation often tends to fail. One of the reasons for HIT implementation failure is poor leadership in healthcare organisations, and thus, more research is needed on leaders’ roles in HIT implementation. The aim of the review was to identify the role of healthcare leaders in HIT implementation. A scoping review with content analysis was conducted using a five-step framework defined by Arksey and O’Malley. Database searches were performed using CINAHL, Business Source Complete, ProQuest, Scopus and Web of Science. The included studies were written either in English or Finnish, published between 2000 and 2019, focused on HIT implementation and contained leadership insight given by various informants. In total, 16 studies were included. The roles of healthcare leaders were identified as supporter, change manager, advocate, project manager, manager, facilitator and champion. Identifying healthcare leaders’ roles in HIT implementation may allow us to take a step closer to successful HIT implementation. Yet, it seems that healthcare leaders cannot fully realise these identified roles and their understanding of HIT needs enforcement. Also, healthcare leaders seem to need more support when actively participating in HIT implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Work and the Role of Clients in Change)
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