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).
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
Manuscript Submission Information
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- digitalization of healthcare
- digital exclusion
- migrant healthcare workers
- competent workforce
- service concepts
- care processes