HIMSS Analytics released the results of the first HIMSS workforce survey, sponsored by Medix IT, which examines hiring trends and barriers for healthcare provider organizations and IT vendors. The report, based on a survey of 224 executives working for hospital/healthcare system IT and vendor organizations, provides human resource leaders insights into the current hiring environment, recruitment and retention tactics, hiring plans for 2013 and resources currently employed by health IT providers and vendors.
“As healthcare organizations become increasingly sophisticated with their IT initiatives, human resource leaders are experiencing a new set of hiring challenges,” said Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research for HIMSS Analytics. “By identifying those challenges and hiring trends, we hope this new report will be considered a resource for career development professionals as they plan their strategic personnel efforts.”
More than 85 percent of survey respondents indicated that their organization hired at least one employee in 2012. Only 13 percent reported implementing layoffs during the same time frame. While the health IT hiring environment has been very positive for both healthcare provider organizations and vendors, vendors were more likely to report hiring staff than were healthcare providers. Looking ahead, 79 percent of organizations also plan to hire additional staff in the coming year.
Over 2012, healthcare providers and health IT vendors were hiring in different employment areas. Healthcare providers were most likely to hire clinical application support positions and help desk IT staff, while vendors targeted sales and marketing additions.
Other key survey results include:
- Employee Recruitment Tactics and Tools: Respondents from both employer groups reported competitive salary and benefit programs were critical to hiring qualified personnel. Job boards (70 percent) and employee referrals (69 percent) were the most frequently reported recruiting tools for both groups.
- Retention Programs: Both groups reported they were most likely to use professional development opportunities to retain staff (60 percent of provider organizations; 64 percent vendor organizations). Additional employee retention incentives included telecommuting or tuition reimbursement, which varied in popularity between the two employer groups.
- Healthcare Provider Organization Outsourcing: 76 percent of healthcare provider organization respondents currently outsource a service rather than hiring directly; while 93 percent have plans to outsource an area in the next year.
- Industry Certification: Both healthcare providers and vendor organizations find certification for network/architecture support and security personnel to be the most important. Vendors overall rated the importance of certification higher than healthcare provider organizations.
- Some IT Initiatives Placed on Hold: Approximately one-third of healthcare provider organizations indicated that they had to place an IT initiative on hold because of staffing shortages, and many expressed that these lower priority issues created risks to patient care and revenue generation. The lack of a local qualified talent pool was the biggest reported challenge to fully staffing for both employer groups.
“The number one barrier to implementing IT systems in hospitals is the lack of qualified resources,” said Eric Born, managing director of Medix IT. “We are thrilled to see that hiring is continuing to rise. It is encouraging to see healthcare organizations exploring innovative hiring solutions to combat the staffing challenges associated with IT implementations.”
“As the healthcare industry continues towards achieving and sustaining meaningful use, as well as converting to the ICD-10 code set, we encourage employers to embrace this positive health IT hiring trend,” said JoAnn W. Klinedinst, CPHIMS, DES, PMP, FHIMSS, vice president of professional development for HIMSS. “Delaying IT initiatives because of staffing issues only creates inefficiencies and hinders technological advances like interoperability initiatives. In turn, this can reduce provider effectiveness and negatively impact patient care. We hope this report will show employers that investing in health IT professional development programs are essential to the successful execution of IT initiatives that can improve healthcare delivery for patients.”
To download the full report, visit: http://bit.ly/HIMSSWorkforce13.
About the HIMSS Workforce Survey
In the inaugural year of the HIMSS Workforce Survey, HIMSS explored the information technology (IT) hiring practices in both the IT vendor industry as well as in healthcare provider organizations. The purpose of this research series was to identify trends in the market’s demand for IT professionals so that those in the career development industry can plan their strategic efforts accordingly. The study was designed to collect information on a multitude of items related to hiring including organizations’ environments in the past year, hiring plans in the next year, resources used in finding and retaining staff, tools used for recruiting and barriers to fully staffing environments.
About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) – a nonprofit driving the change toward a smarter, more efficient healthcare system through the adoption of health IT. The company collects and analyzes healthcare data related to IT processes and environments, products, IS department composition and costs, IS department management metrics, healthcare trends and purchase-related decisions. HIMSS Analytics delivers high quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, healthcare IT companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting firms. Visit www.himssanalytics.org for more information.
About Medix IT
The HIMSS Leadership Survey cites the number one barrier to implementing IT systems in hospitals today is the lack of qualified resources. Leveraging our expertise placing tens of thousands of Clinical and IT personnel since 2001, Medix IT has profiled the characteristics of the top performers you need. We apply our knowledge to provide you the right workforce at the right time. Bottom line: Medix IT eliminates your staffing risk so you exceed expectations and deliver sustainable solutions. To learn more about Medix IT, please visit www.medixteam.com/IT.