Government mandates and a need for vendor-specific skills are among the challenges facing health care IT recruiters, according to staffing firm Modis.
care IT has a shortage of perfect candidates, yet government regulations such
as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA
are creating an urgency for personnel in health care technology more than ever
reached a perfect storm stage and is one of the last industries to go through a
total IT transformation," Eric Marx, vice president of health care IT for
Modis, told eWEEK
. Modis is an IT staffing subsidiary
are struggling to find workers with clinical backgrounds, according to Marx.
are a lot of qualified people out there, and the gap they have is that most
CIOs in hospitals are looking for clinical backgrounds that understand what
medical jargon is," Marx said.
health care IT workers with job skills specific to health care and electronic
health records (EHRs) is difficult, according to Jack Cullen, president of
think in the health care field, it's that perfect candidate they're looking
for-they're looking for the 'purple squirrel,' and how often do you find
them?" Cullen asked.
care organizations are looking for IT workers with vendor-specific experience,
according to Marx. That means the skills to operate EHR platforms from
companies such as Cerner or Epic.
hospital that uses the Epic software package is looking for Epic-certified
consultants," Marx said.
workers with transferable skills from fields such as financial services may be
necessary, however. A candidate may have SQL skills in finance that could be
used in health care, since it's similar to the CCL language the Cerner EHR
platform uses, Marx explained.
can't just pull them from one hospital to the next," Cullen told eWEEK
. "You've got to get them from
addition to skills, affordability is another area of difficulty, according to
Marx. "Hourly rates and salaries are going through the roof, and most
candidates have multiple offers at the time that hospitals are trying to land
them," he explained.
requirements might be necessary, Marx said. "We can't get A and C, but we
can live with A+B," he said. Look at other skill sets to be productive
that will be hotbeds for health care IT jobs will be security, business
intelligence and data warehousing, Marx noted.
a premium on security folks and on folks that can take large amounts of
information and get some value out of it, so business intelligence and data
warehousing are significant," he said.
cities are key areas for health care IT jobs, according to Marx.
area ripe for health care IT jobs is Nashville, Tenn.
, a Q1 2011 report by
the Nashville Technology Council revealed.
is definitely a hot spot for health care," Marx said. "There are some
of the largest health care organizations in the country headquartered
health care systems such as the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and
Community Health Systems (CHS) are based in Nashville.
hospitals and things of that nature don't have as much of a focus because
they're working on a smaller scale within some stage agencies to help them
out," he noted.
care should be a growing industry for IT workers in years to come with
requirements for workers who can create products that support the new ICD-10
coding standard for claims and other documents. The Department of Health &
Human Services mandates that all medical claims include ICD-10 codes instead of
ICD-9 beginning on Oct. 1, 2013.
will need the skills to create products such as
from health care software developer VitalWare. VitalView is a
dashboard application that allows hospitals and physician practices to keep up
with ICD-10 timelines and requirements.
accounting for outcomes
rather than pay-for-service are also an opportunity
for investment in IT infrastructure, according to Marx.
looks like it's going to be a significant investment on the infrastructure
side, but we haven't gotten into details on what that's going to look like
yet," Marx said.