Healthcare IT Leaders Need Qualified Staff

For the first time in a decade, healthcare CIOs say that lack of staffing resources is the most significant roadblock to successful healthcare IT implementations. Twenty-one percent of 302 CIOs have that complaint, while only 14 percent say budgets are their biggest problem, according to a survey conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Kay Hix, vice president and CIO of Carillon Clinic in Roanoke, Va., said in an InformationWeek interview that healthcare providers are competing against vendors and high-paying consulting firms for top health IT talent. “We’re all trying to gravitate toward the same bucket of [staffing] resources.”

The issue is that there’s a race going on to hit government benchmarks in so-called Meaningful Use—proving that conversion to electronic medical records (EMR) is having tangible results—and ICD-10 coding, a new and highly complex recoding of medical records. Once healthcare systems hit these goals, they’re entitled to government subsidies, so the rush is on.

In fact, 38 percent of CIOs surveyed said that earning the federal incentive payments for achieving Meaningful Use was their top IT priority for the next two years, way ahead of any other option. “Federal incentives continue to drive IT decisions at healthcare organizations,” said Jennifer Horowitz, director of research at HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the health IT trade group.

Making Meaningful Use goals could yield some hospitals up to $10 million or more, so having state-of-the-art EMR systems couldn’t be more urgent. Healthcare remains a vertical IT market where the demand for talent consistently outstrips supply, and the salaries reflect that fact.

No Responses to “Healthcare IT Leaders Need Qualified Staff”

  1. Fred Bosick

    I got a *great* idea! Why don’t you people TRAIN your present staff, or competent applicants? For too long, the onus of continual job training has been on the job applicant. The problem is that access to specialized software is expensive or impossible and it’s a flavor of the week in languages and tools. No one is sure what the new hotness is and it’s a large opportunity cost to get up to speed in something no one wants.

    Anyone can learn to press buttons and click on tabs. It takes experienced people to figure out why something is to be done. There are plenty of us out there.

  2. Great!

    But, where are those jobs?

    Will they really pay fair competitive market rates? or will they be looking for cheap IT (newbies) via subcontracting agencies, etc.?

    I’m just asking.

    Best regards,

  3. A few questions; perhaps the answers are in the original text.

    What skills are not being found? Is the problem that college grads do not possess the skills? Why? A different DICE blog stated that (recent) college grads lack the necessary to make them employable. Is the problem there is an insufficient number of folk with the skills?

    I have several years experience working for a company that is now part of McKesson Provider Technologies. I also worked for several months in the IT dept of a hospital. Perhaps though my “weakness” is that I have no medical training or education.

  4. Marshall Stirling

    Boy, Fred Bosick hit the nail on the head with that one! Way to go Fred!

    Companies don’t want to put any money into their employees to help the employees help the company. The companies only want to make a profit to appease the shareholders. Heaven forbid the company should have to pay to train an employee(s) on a new system or application. And even if the companies decide to start providing training when will the employee have time? They are already carrying the workload of two or three people so there won’t be time to attend training.