The demand for qualified healthcare IT professionals continues to grow. As technology improves, including the rise of wearable tech in healthcare, integration and interoperability becomes paramount. Having health IT staff that understands the ins and outs of the healthcare industry is critical to the development and maintenance of health IT tools and programs.
The 2014 HIMSS Workforce Analytics Survey found that health IT workers continue to be in demand—84 percent of survey respondents reporting having hired at least one additional staff member for IT in the previous year, and a whopping 92 percent of those hires were for a newly created positions.
Plans to hire health IT staff in the future are strong—82 percent of respondents said they planned to hire at least one full-time employee in the next year, which was an increase from the previous survey. Clinical application support was the most sought after position followed by help desk and IT management professionals.
What Healthcare Employers Need in Health IT Staff
Overall, employers much prefer hiring seasoned professionals who have healthcare industry experience, though the HIMSS Workforce Survey indicated that companies are more open to hiring current employees with appropriate qualifications or new graduates than in previous years.
Survey respondents overwhelmingly reported the lack of a qualified local talent pool as the main barrier to achieving a fully staffed health IT environment.
Employers are also concerned about retaining qualified staff members that could be hired away to other healthcare companies through recruitment efforts. The top technique employers use to retain employees is to offer professional development opportunities—64 percent of responding provider organizations and 66 percent of vendors reported this as their top retention tactic.
HIT Training to Attract and Retain Top Talent
For payers, providers and other healthcare businesses to bridge the HIT staffing gap, it’s important to have a means to educate IT professionals, and keep them abreast of an industry that’s constantly in flux.
emids provides a comprehensive HIT training tool to provide individuals and businesses the knowledge they need to become stronger players in HIT.
aspire HIT and aspire Provider are online certification courses developed by emids that provide detailed information to help HIT professionals stay ahead of the curve. Businesses can use the training to attract and retain superior talent, and keep company members apprised of industry changes with aspire’s annual content updates.
Course modules cover several industry topics including:
- Healthcare IT roles: providers, payers, infomediaries
- Revenue cycle management
- Healthcare data standards and trends
- Hospital information systems
- Patient care management
- Clinical support systems
- Practice management systems