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The Evolution of Skills in Health

The next decade will witness a reshaping of the health workforce like never before, thanks to rapid advances in technology, a shift towards patient-centric healthcare, Australia’s ageing population, and an increasing need for improved soft skills.

The digitalisation of healthcare will see digital devices and services become the primary mechanisms by which healthcare is delivered and monitored, requiring ongoing digital literacy training for new and existing staff.

The ’Evolution of Skills: Thought Leadership Report’ offers a pragmatic exploration of workforce transformation. While change is inevitable, how organisations respond determines their future success.


"Technology is helping to bridge the gap between people looking for support and people providing that support"

Dom Greenwood - Learning & Development Manager, HIREUP


Current state

An ageing population is placing greater demands on healthcare facilities, while a skilled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health workforce is needed to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes.

The introduction of electronic health records and the greater use of digital technology for testing and patient management is fuelling the need for uplifts in digital literacy across the sector to ensure these new tools are used correctly.

The shift to person-centric healthcare is raising the emphasis on soft skills within the health sector, particularly in relation to customer service.

Future skills

With increased investment in Big Data and artificial intelligence systems, greater skills in data management and analytics will be needed to interpret data and provide decision support services for clinicians, while creating rich datasets for data-driven healthcare solutions.

The need for soft skills such as customer service, collaboration and communication will rise, as will the need for human-centred design training for the creation of patient-oriented service models.

Data security and privacy skills will become essential for all workers to ensure that patient data is used safely and ethically.


Digital literacy needs to increase in relation to data governance to ensure the adoption of new digital capabilities, while creating a base for ongoing training via eLearning systems, micro-credentialing programs and simulator-based training.

New technologies and processes, such as remote monitoring of patients, analysing centralised medical records and robotic surgical devices, will be rapidly implemented, requiring digital training to be embedded in existing development programs for staff and clinicians alike.

Ongoing training and development of soft skills relating to communication and customer service will ensure health professionals will be the human interface of a digital healthcare system.