The pre-Covid-19 reality
Heading into 2020, clinical labor was not the driving force for disruptive innovation in health care. The industry needed to radically rethink ways to provide care that curbed costs and expanded access. But frontline clinicians addressed these challenges with ideas that would bring only incremental improvement. Embracing the need to drastically change long-standing norms is difficult for most workforces, and it’s particularly challenging for clinicians. Clinicians must safeguard the health of their patients and have a proven track record of achieving great clinical advances through measured steps over time.
Additionally, the economic outlook provided little reason for clinical labor to change their ways. While consumer demands and new market entrants may have been forcing provider organizations to reinvent themselves, individual clinicians were a precious resource under all scenarios. Unemployment had fallen to 3.5% nationally. Health care jobs were projected to increase by 14% over the coming decade, with a particular demand for experienced clinicians.