How are you dealing with the staffing shortages in healthcare IT?

Jul 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

A 2010 article in and projected the need for at least an additional 50,000 Healthcare IT workers due to the demand being created to obtain Meaningful Use compliance.

A July 15, 2013 article on FierceHealthIT discusses the “hot” Healthcare IT job market:

“Of the 225 healthcare executives polled, more than 85 percent reported hiring at least one IT employee in 2012; none reported layoffs,” it read. “Thirty-one percent of the respondents said they had put an IT project on hold because of staff shortages, while many said lower-priority projects created risks to patient care and revenue generation” 

The hospitals that responded were more likely to hire clinical application support positions and help desk IT staff. Also cited was “a shallow local talent pool as the biggest barrier to fully staffing their IT departments.”

Hiring clinical application specialists from a local market is always a challenge due to the finite number of people in any one market. If an organization is looking for clinical application experience, that experience will exist only with the employees who work for other hospitals or vendors in the local area.

For those who were paying attention, this issue was inevitable. The fact is, there are not enough experienced Healthcare IT professionals in the country for all hospitals to complete the required projects on time.

Some hospitals are making the proper adjustments to attract the right people, while others are looking for other options, such as outsourcing certain functions. Now, outsourcing certainly has a place in an overall IT strategy, but are companies choosing outsourcing because they cannot find and hire the right people in-house?

If this is the case, organizations have to take a closer look at their overall hiring strategies to examine where adjustments can be made. The fact of the matter is, no company is immune to the shortages, but many have figured out how to fill critical IT roles within their organization while dealing with this difficult hiring climate.

These organizations not only look at their needs, but have also taken the time to determine what’s most important to the people they’re trying to attract. From there, they’ve made modifications and exceptions, when possible, in an attempt to be as creative as possible to fill positions that are so critical to their IT strategies’ success.

Has your organization been successful in filling newly created Clinical IT positions?  What adjustments have been made to be successful?

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