In 2009, as we know, there was a HUGE slowdown in hiring, even layoffs and position eliminations throughout healthcare. When I surveyed CIOs at the beginning of the year, it was great to hear that many had plans to hire IT leadership for their departments in 2010.
Over 60% of the CIOs from the survey mentioned the following key positions they plan to hire in 2010:
- 22% Project management
- 13% Number twos or successors
- 10% IT security leaders
- 10% Clinical IT or clinical informatics
- 9% Chief Medical Information Officers
These hiring plans seemed to follow the “Top Five Information Technology Priorities” for 2010 mentioned by the CIOs survey participants.
- 79% Meaningful Use
- 59% ARRA funding to accelerate health IT
- 57% Budget concerns
- 52% EMR/CPOE implementations
- 39% Quality, process improvement
- 39% IT Security, privacy
Other priorities driving hiring included: clinical transformation projects, changes in executive leadership, HIT workforce shortage, ICD-10 work, growth in research, physician practice EMR implementation.
What’s New on the Horizon?
What I have noticed from my own recruiting activity in 2010 is that there are key areas where hiring executives are seeking new IT talent. I believe that these five areas will be driving hiring activity in the future.
- Medical Group CIOs and Ambulatory IT Leaders are already in demand in many health systems because of increased deployment of EMRs to physicians and medical groups. The titles vary, but IT leaders in this area have expertise in the growing ambulatory side of health systems. Ideally, these IT leaders have great physician relationship building skills and have implemented physician EMR systems and practice management systems. These positions may report to a Senior VP/CIO over the health system with a dotted line to the CEO of the medical group. Organizations who hire these “CIOs” usually have a large number of employed or affiliated physicians. They may even seek to gain a competitive advantage by offering their ambulatory EMR and practice management systems to other non-affiliated community physicians.
- Business intelligence and clinical decision support expertise are needed as more organizations move to the next phase after implementing an EMR. New positions responsible for data mining, creating analysis and executive reports to help organizations make business decisions, will continue to grow as EMR systems mature.
- Customer service needs are driving the creation at many organizations of an IT leader or executive in charge of “customer service” reporting to the CIO. Other organizations are adding “client service” or “service delivery” to IT titles to show the changing attitude of the IT department to their customers.
- Health Information Exchanges (HIE) have formed in many areas and states. This growth will be creating a demand for IT leaders for HIEs. HIEs will need business leaders, IT leaders, IT security, consultants and data analysts, etc.
- Help desk expertise is in demand. Many organizations are moving toward a multi-tiered help desk to accommodate more than just simple desktop problems. The increased use of EMR systems by clinicians has expanded the need for a clinical help desk. Clinicians who work with an EMR system will need assistance on a 24/7 basis and prefer talking to another clinician at a help desk specifically set up for their issues.
I would be interested to hear about other new IT positions that you are seeing in your organizations.