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Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

The typing is on the wall: Australia’s healthcare future needs a digitally capable workforce

Leanna Woods A B C * , Anna Janssen D , Samantha Robertson A B , Clare Morgan C , Kerryn Butler-Henderson E , Andrew Burton-Jones F and Clair Sullivan A B G
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Health Services Research, The University of Queensland, Level 5, Health Sciences Building, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Campus, Herston, Qld 4006, Australia.

B Queensland Digital Health Centre, The University of Queensland, Herston, Qld, Australia.

C Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

D Research Implementation Science and eHealth Group, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

E RMIT Digital Health Hub, College of STEM, RMIT University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia.

F UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

G Digital Metro North, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

* Correspondence to:

Australian Health Review 47(5) 553-558
Submitted: 24 July 2023  Accepted: 4 September 2023   Published: 25 September 2023

© 2023 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of AHHA. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND)


Digital health technologies are a proposed solution to improve healthcare delivery and reduce pressures on the healthcare system, but these technologies are new to much of the health workforce. This perspective paper highlights lessons learned from the global experience of rapid digital transformation of health workforces, including fostering a culture of learning, ensuring accreditation and recognition, and adopting a transdisciplinary approach. Evidence-based actions are proposed to address recommendations to (1) ensure foundational workforce digital health capability and (2) build specialist digital health career pathways. Australia must take a national approach and strategically leverage strong collaborations across sectors including healthcare, education and government to ensure a consistent, regulated and sustainable digital workforce capability.

Keywords: capability, clinical informatics, digital, digital health, education, employee, health workforce, medical informatics, skills, training, workforce planning.


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