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Are You Ready For The Fourth Industrial Revolution
18 March 2020
30 November 2020
6.41 minutes

Technological change within the workforce is not a new phenomenon. The fourth Industrial Revolution is creating a digitally enabled environment that will impact every workplace. Digital innovation and technology will transform the way that you do your work.

Over the last decade the Australian Government Department of Health (DOH)has been introducing complex artificial intelligent programs and health algorithms to the healthcare sector. These developments and innovations have changed the way we provide healthcare services.

In particular, the field of medical office administration (administration and clerical workers) has been rapidly changing with the development of better data collection and entry methods. The Health Workers Union has been keeping track of the changes occurring within your industry.

Health Care and Social Assistance

According to the Australian Government Labour Market Information Portal, the Health Care and Social Assistance Sector employs approximately 1,689,000 persons (ABS), which accounts for 13.1% of the total workforce. Moreover, research conducted by the DOH, the ABS and Deloitte (2019) Global Health Care Outlook has found that over the past five years, employment in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry has increased by 22.0%. 

The HWU Knows That your Workplace is Changing

The HWU is aware that Public healthcare administration and clerical workers have been asked to change the way that they work:

  • Changes to Medical Billing Systems,
  • New Information Technology Systems and Software,
  • Changes to existing and New Databases,
  • Implementation of new Patient Administration System,
  • Introduction of new Clinical Coding and Diagnostic systems,
  • Implementation of Electronic Medical Records.

Integrating Tele-Health into Current Services; Connecting with Patient Administration, Clinical Systems and Existing Technologies Alfred Hospital Project!

In particular, the HWU is aware of the changes taking place at the Alfred Hospital. In fact, we have been informed by our members of the “Integrating Tele-Health into Current Services; Connecting with Patient Administration, Clinical Systems and Existing Technologies Project!

The Department of Health and the Alfred via the introduction of Web based Technology (Health-direct Video Call) is implementing online waiting areas that will be able to operate without Reception Staff or Administration workers. The DOH aims to introduce this model across Victoria

Essentially, the Government is looking to automate the following tasks:

  • Booking/scheduling system,
  • Patient communications,
  • Checking in,
  • Monitoring patient flow,
  • Billing and MBS eligibility,
  • Coordination with partners, GPs,
  • Guidelines and procedures.

The HWU Admin Division understands that the ongoing digital transformation requires workers to adapt and develop the necessary skills. This will require training providers (University and TAFE) to change the way that they offer training. 

We predict that future training for Administration and Clerical workers will involve increased on the job training and for employees. Moreover, workers will be required to undertake multiple short courses (Skill Sets) on a regular basis in place of the previous training system where workers were required to obtain a Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree. The Health Workers Union has been working with our partners to ensure that our members will not be left out in the cold.

The Health Workers Union has created multiple Careers Advisor Position(s) as part of the Public Health Sector Enterprise Agreement 2018-2022. The Health Workers Union Admin Division will be working with members impacted by automation. We will be providing advice, opportunities for training and ensuring that Health Workers Union Members will be the least impacted by the technological changes occurring in your field of work.

The ABC has developed a website dedicated to the impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce in conjunction with research house AlphaBeta. I recommend that readers click on the link below to visit the site titled “Could a robot do your job?” for more about how susceptible your job is to automation.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-08/could-a-robot-do-your-job-artificial-intelligence/8782174

The ABC website prompts users to type in their job title and provides a report about how their job will be impacted by automation. For example, if you type “Medical Record Clerk” in the search box the site will provide information about:

  • How susceptible your job is to automation (in terms of percentage of duties and functions),
  • Lists the percentage of your job tasks that are less susceptible to automation,
  • Lists some of your roles or tasks that will be easier to complete with automation.

The Health Workers Union will continue to update our members about this and other matters that impact you and your work within the Public health system.  Please visit the HWU Admin Division Webpage for more information about this topic and other matters that directly relate to you.

Kamal Bekhazi

Senior Research and Project officer

Health Workers Union