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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Mar 18 2012   8:44PM GMT

Healthcare systems are seeking slightly different IT talent

Posted by: RedaChouffani
HealthcareIT, HIT, Jobs

Since virtualization has been introduced to healthcare, it has brought with it the promise of reducing operational and hardware procurement costs, as well as offering a variety of new solutions for disaster recovery and business continuity planning (DR/BCP). While one can point to many more benefits that this technology brings, the path toward virtualization and cloud services has made many IT executives revisit their IT staff hiring strategy, placing less emphasis on traditional hardware and repair expertise, and putting more of a focus on having an understanding of core healthcare objectives and clinical concepts with strong problem solving and analytical skills.

This shift is being noticed most significantly in smaller healthcare practices. For many independent physicians, their infrastructures are moving to the cloud, or simply are using cloud-based services — from EHR and PM, to VoIP and accounting hosted services. This means that IT vendors and cloud solutions providers have had to make significant changes to their service offerings.

With this clear reduction in an organization’s need for hardware and the increase of use of thin client servers, IT staff members are now expected to know more about deploying, supporting and understanding the myriad of EHR solutions in the market. As a result, job descriptions and placement ads have made adjustments as well. Some of the common examples listed for many HIT jobs as part of the ‘preferred items’ list are:

  • Experience working with clinical information systems or system implementation teams for complex projects and/or application development is required
  • Knowledgeable in understanding of HIPAA, X12 5010, ICD10, HL7 …
  • Prior work with clinicians and providers

Fortunately there has been also an increase in educational programs in community colleges and universities to assist individuals in acquiring or brushing up on some of the healthcare IT specific items. These are in the form of graduate programs or simple crash courses providing hands on training and vendor specific education.

As the talent war continues in the healthcare IT field and pay scale for those positions continues to increase, both technicians and healthcare professionals will need to adapt and stay abreast of market demands. Many organizations will also begin to play a critical role in grooming this talent by partnering with local community colleges and universities. This will ensure that they can support some of the new academic initiatives around health IT, as well as recruit some of the top graduating talent and innovative minds.

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