Shortage of qualified IT staff

Hospitals and Health Networks: “As if it already weren’t tough enough to find and retain quality health information technology professionals, the recent passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as part of the Obama administration’s broader economic stimulus package may only make the task more difficult. “We had a shortage of talent before this stimulus was initiated,” says Timothy R. Zoph, chief information officer at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “This will exacerbate the problem.” Compounding the issue further is a triple whammy of major IT projects facing every health care organization. Not only is there the HITECH-fueled push for electronic health records, the stimulus law also tightens HIPAA privacy and security requirements, something American Health Information Management Association CEO Linda Kloss calls a “very big challenge.” And already in the works is the transition to ICD-10 coding and the related ANSI X12 5010 electronic transactions.” – I can tell you from personal experience that this is already a big issue. IT departments are struggling to keep up with the limited technology in use by healthcare today; I cannot imagine the future as hospitals continue to adopt more and more advanced technology.

4 thoughts on “Shortage of qualified IT staff”

  1. Hi Jerry – I enjoyed the posting and the article you linked. When appropriate – what about strategic IT Outsourcing? IT Management Solutions delivered by U.S. based firms? For example: Opesnet handles IT Outsourced Management Services for LTC Pharmacy Operations. I understand the frustration with the shortage – but this might be an answer in some cases / situations. Reputable firms can provide great value and help contain/ lower costs.

  2. Hi Todd – I think this is an excellent idea not only for the IT staffing shortage, but for advancing pharmacy information systems, cloud computing, electronic documentation, automation, etc. Many IT professionals are “home grown” which creates a gap in their knowledge of cutting edge technology. This would be a great solution. Love the idea! Thanks for the insight.

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