While the market for IT jobs in general is better than many other areas, a recent report says one industry is experiencing an acute shortage of tech talent.
Two-thirds (67%) of healthcare organizations are currently experiencing a staffing shortage in the IT department, according to a recent report from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).
The demand for health IT pros first spiked in 2009, when the federal government outlined its plan to offer incentive payments to organizations that adopt electronic health records (EHRs). The number of health IT jobs needing to be filled has only increased since — in a 2010 CHIME survey, 59% of healthcare providers said they were experiencing an IT staffing shortage.
How widespread is the demand for skills and experience working with EHR systems and other health IT? Nearly all (97%) of the 163 organizations surveyed by CHIME currently have health IT jobs open. That’s having some negative effects on providers, as 71% of organizations said a staffing shortage could jeopardize a planned IT project, and 59% say it could prevent them from qualifying for federal EHR incentives.
In addition, 85% said they were concerned about being able to hang on to their current health IT employees as new opportunities become available at different organizations.
How to land health IT jobs?
While healthcare organizations are struggling to find qualified candidates for health IT jobs and will need to increase their efforts to retain current staffers, the staffing shortages present an opportunity for IT pros looking to change industries.
On way IT pros can move into the healthcare industry: Complete a health IT certification program.
Many health IT certifications are available for IT professionals new to the healthcare industry. One example is the CompTIA Health IT Technician, which was launched last year. Candidates need just a basic knowledge of practice workflows and medical terminology, CompTIA says, and the certification program covers a wide range of areas, including regulatory requirements, IT and medical organization operations, and security.