New research has concluded that 2.5 percent of all healthcare hiring is health IT-related, according to a report in EHR Intelligence.
The study, which lumps EHR system implementation, informatics and other healtlh IT skills into the mix, was published Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society.
According to researcher Aaron Schwartz and colleagues, most of the 434,282 positions open are driven by opportunities created by the HITECH Act. During the study period, which corresponded with the implementation of HITECH, researchers found an 86 percent increase in monthly job postings including “electronic health record” or “clinical informatics,” EHR Intelligence notes.
Implementation support was the most desired skill, with 43 percent of listings asking for recruits with system installation, purchasing or workflow design skills.
Only 39 percent of job listings were posted by healthcare providers, the study found. This suggests a very heavy reliance on recruiters to fill these positions, which require difficult-to-find skillsets.
Things haven’t changed much since 2011, where the study cuts off. Not surprisingly, health IT hiring continues at a fevered pace, with hospitals and IT vendors competing for employees with the same skills.
A HIMSS study released this summer, which surveyed 225 executives across hospital and health IT vendor sectors, found that 85 percent of respondents had hired at least one employee during 2012, and 79 percent of execs in these sectors plan to bring on more stuff during this year.
This survey found that providers were more likely to be hiring for clinical application support and help desk staff, while vendors were more likely to be hiring on sales and marketing personnel.
Unfortunately, the supply of HIT talent seems to be inadequate — CIOs say that they’re barely meeting their needs — and the educational system can only crank out graduates so quickly. This doesn’t bode well for hospitals, which can only rely on pricey consultants for so long. Let’s hope someone comes up with a strategy for training up new health IT workers more quickly!