Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hospitals competing for IT talent

Did you catch the PC World article titled, "Hospitals Compete for IT Talent With Funding at Stake"? Here are some interesting snippets from that article:

With the government spending almost as much as the health care industry's total value of $27 billion, "you can imagine there's going to be a fair amount of hiring," said John Halamka, a doctor at and CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Beyond IT skills, Halamka looks for candidates who "have a working vocabulary of health care" and are familiar with the industry's privacy, security, compliance and regulatory aspects.

"There's a lot of dedicated health care professionals out there in the universe," he said. "There's a lot of dedicated IT professionals. But it's a much narrower band where you have people that can live in both of those worlds."

With the government financially penalizing health care providers that fail to use EHRs by 2015, there is a need to hire staff with the right blend of health care knowledge and technology skills, said Josh Lee, a doctor at and chief medical information officer for the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

The 7,000 graduates produced by the community college training program will not meet the 50,000 heath IT employees the industry needs by their deadlines, Halamka said. This shortage is "a short-term problem" with "the peak of demand coming right now" since the stimulus ends in a few months, he said.

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