The most recent issue of Hospital Pharmacy (Vol 45, No 1, 2010) has an article by Fox and Felkey that discusses the demand that the ARRA will place on the current and future HIT workforce. According to the article â€œthe workforce to shepherd implementation, training, and support [for the modernization of heath care delivery] simply does not exist today; consequently, we could face a situation where health systems and clinics are financially ready to adopt HIT but do not have the personnel to carry it out.â€ I believe this is absolutely true and have alluded to it in the past (here and here).
More importantly, the shortage of HIT personnel will be further exacerbated by the need for clinicians to enter the technology field. The article supports this thinking by saying that â€œsome experts have suggested that clinically-trained individuals are more suited to the design, selection, implementation, and management of HIT because they have a fundamental understanding of the processes of health care delivery. Alternatively, individuals trained in IT are more technically inclined, but lack firsthand experience with health care delivery systemsâ€ Another truism and a problem that is certainly not unique to the HIT field. Companies like Microsoft, Google, GE, Siemens, etc hire pharmacists and other clinician for their unique experience in the health care industry.