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You are not alone: Health IT staffing shortages are real

December 16, 2019

Staring down a new EHR implementation? Maybe you find yourself in the middle of a merger? Or perhaps your challenges are something different altogether?

In any case, managing these monumental changes will require an evaluation of existing resources and a vision for tackling the challenges before you.

  • A new EHR implementation is a daunting task for any organization and the long road ahead will be littered with obstacles like legacy support, systems integrations and asynchronous releases.
  • The increasing consolidation of health systems and hospitals has the effect of squeezing HIT leaders and professionals into a space between two organizations. Their task, if they choose to accept it, is to ensure the continuity of care across newly integrated health systems.
  • Many organizations find themselves in the middle of a cultural and financial transformation, leaving fee-for service behind in pursuit of value-based care.

To further complicate these internal business challenges, there are numerous external factors that will increase the pressure on HIT departments. A large and favorable job market means IT professionals have more options available to them than ever before, so attracting and retaining this talent could be harder than it sounds. As more baby boomers enter retirement, the HIT roles they once held will need to be filled (this is not an insignificant number of senior level positions). The advent of consumerism and adoption of new digital technologies will drive the need for a workforce that is both consumer-focused and savvy when it comes to cybersecurity.

You are not alone.

Trying to do more with fewer resources is all too common a theme in today’s fast-paced healthcare IT environment. In the 2019 HIMSS U.S. Leadership and Workforce Survey, 63% of the hospitals surveyed said they had open positions to fill and 42% responded that their workforce had increased over the past year. More concerning, 51% of surveyed hospitals had to put projects on hold or scale them back in the past year due to Health IT staffing shortages.

To help offset the limitations of finding – and retaining – qualified HIT staff, nearly a third of US hospitals will look to outside search firms to help them manage gaps in staffing in the coming year. Assistance in hiring permanent employees and placing consultants to support short and long-term projects are typical mitigation strategies for health systems looking to keep their IT initiatives on track.

It’s important to find the right partner.

Working with a professional staffing firm is an ideal way to address Health IT staffing shortages, but it has to be one that can provide talent at all levels and is focused on finding the right resources for the needs of your organization. Onboarding processes must align with yours and, perhaps most importantly, the staffing partner must understand your organizational culture. Without these key elements, successful placements are hard to achieve.

As a KLAS-rated professional staffing firm consistently listed as a best place to work, iMethods offers an unparalleled partnership experience. As Dean Medley, VP of HR and People Development explains, “iMethods builds meaningful and authentic relationships with its partners. In any market, this is a differentiator. In healthcare IT, it makes the difference between steady productivity and high turnover, between success and failure.”