ATLANTA, GA– January 13, 2016– The Institute for Healthcare Information Technology (IHIT), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare through the advancement of technology and education in Georgia, released the results of its annual IHIT study today, uncovering the need among healthcare providers for more skilled healthcare information technology (IT) workers.
Building on last year’s study that analyzed the vendor workforce needs, the 2015 IHIT survey focused on assessing the healthcare provider workforce needs as it relates to healthcare IT resources. The online study included responses from more than 300 qualified participants who were knowledgeable about their organization’s healthcare IT growth and recruitment needs over the next three to five years.
The results indicated that 72 percent of respondents currently have more than 50 job openings. With more than 80 percent of hospitals anticipating an increase in their IT budgets over the next five years, the need for skilled IT professionals is expected to continue to climb. The study also revealed that the areas that are most in demand include electronic medical record systems, cyber security and system integration.
Dramatic shifts in payment reform and the onslaught of regulatory requirements in healthcare are causing providers to rethink the way they deliver care. New technologies and big data strategies are playing a more critical role as providers seek a more coordinated approach that is focused on minimizing the cost of care while improving patient outcomes in order to secure reimbursements. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) calls it the Triple Aim – improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction); improving the health of populations; and. reducing the per capita cost of health care.
“With Georgia being home to hundreds of healthcare IT companies and healthcare providers, the pressure for our education systems to generate qualified resources is expected to continue to increase,” said Pat Williams, chairman for the Institute of Healthcare Information Technology. “Through our annual workforce studies and innovative programs, IHIT aims to help educators, technology vendors, and healthcare providers collaborate more effectively to ensure the state is able to produce resources who are qualified and available to fill the many jobs that exist in healthcare IT in Georgia.”
The survey also gauges the status of healthcare providers’ plans to expand and hire from within the state, as well as their perceptions of how well-equipped Georgia’s educational institutions are to provide qualified Healthcare IT candidates. Providers voiced concern about the ability to fill their jobs over the next five years. Fifty-seven percent reported using both in- and out-of-state recruitment efforts to support their job recruitment efforts in conjunction with colleges, universities and technical colleges. The reasons cited for difficulty in finding qualified resources as the lack of experience/training and the high demand for qualified applicants.
Among the survey’s findings, responders recommended that the educational systems in Georgia implement more healthcare specific programs and include more internship opportunities where students can expand their knowledge in real-world situations.
Additionally, the survey revealed information about two popular technologies: nearly half (48 percent) stated that their organizations are currently using telemedicine, the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology; and 43 percent stated that their organization is currently using mobile health technologies and have plans to expand their usage in the future.
IHIT worked with Porter Research to conduct the online survey, which included more than 300 qualified participants who were knowledgeable about their organization’s Healthcare IT growth and recruitment needs over the next 3-5 years.
The Institute for Healthcare Information Technology is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving healthcare through the advancement of Georgia-based vendors, providers, payers and educators. Comprised of more than 200 healthcare companies in Georgia working collaboratively with state and local organizations such as the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the Metro-Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, IHIT fosters economic development opportunities that help improve the accessibility and quality of healthcare. For more information about IHIT, visit www.instituteforhealthcareit.org.