Electronic Medical Record Mandates to Increase Jobs in IT
With a $20 billion infusion from the Health Information Technology Act, the EMR market is expected to grow in major ways. Expect jobs to expand in systems integration, programming, project management and training.Where are IT jobs going to be over the next two years? There are a number of expectations, including a whole lot more in Web application development, including social media, enterprise software and a host of mobile applications for Internet-enabled devices such as the iPhone and competitors. Another area expected to have growth is in health care, specifically in electronic medical records (EMRs).
With a large economic stimulus package behind it, the EMR market is expected to grow in major ways with a $20 billion infusion from the Health Information Technology Act. As detailed in an article at NWjobs.com (affiliated with the Seattle Times), the EMR market for job growth will run the spectrum from technical sales to training to programming. From the article:
According to Frost & Sullivan estimates, the Health Information Technology (HIT) market (by revenue) in 2008, in APAC (Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Australia) was close to USD5.04 billion with an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.8 percent from 2005-2008. Although the APACHIT market represents currently only 2.1 percent of the total healthcare market, it is very likely that the figure could double if not triple that in the next 10 years.As with any newer technology that will collect information, there are serious data migration issues to consider, not to mention cost. From a CNN Money article on the subject:
Implementing an EHR system from paper to hospital-wide integration costs anywhere from $50 million to $100 million, say experts. That includes not just the hardware and software, but also the service contract, networking with a national data center and lost productivity as hospitals teach physicians how to use the new system. That's difficult for hospitals in the midst of a credit crunch and economic downturn, and especially onerous for small doctors' offices with just a handful of staff and patients. But there are other options. One such alternative is the government's open-source EHR system, called Vista, which is already used by the Department of Veterans Affairs. A commercialized version of the Vista software was developed by health care tech firm Medsphere, which said installation and service costs of the system average less than $1 million a year over the first five years, after which point annual service costs range between $150,000 to $700,000, depending on the size of the hospital. "We have contracts with the entire public health system of West Virginia, in which eight hospitals will pay us a total of $9 million over five years," said Medsphere Chief Executive Mike Doyle. "Compare that to the University of West Virginia, which just paid $90 million to a proprietary EHR vendor. If Obama is serious about this, he won't be able to do it $90 million at a time."But not every system will be able to connect to the open-source solution, suggests the CNN article. Regardless, the mandate within the Health Information Technology Act will help those vendors selling these products, and it means jobs for those having to use the new systems.