The confluence of achieving Meaningful Use, morphing toward an accountable care model, transitioning to HIPAA 5010/ICD-10 and, of course, doing it all with fewer resources has CIOs concerned about their organization’s ability to manage it all. As such, it’s no shock 65 percent say their staffs are under “excessive strain” due to MU-related work, while 50 percent say they have had key employees leave during the past six months and 54 percent report being unable to fill open positions for at least three months. Always more protective of staffs than selves, only 50 percent of CIOs said they were experiencing an “unsustainable level of strain” due to overwork.
(SnapSurveys are answered by the healthsystemCIO.com CIO Advisory Panel. To see a full-size version of all charts, click here. To go directly to a full-size version of any individual chart, click on that chart)
1. Have you had any key staff leave during the past six months?
- Sr. Clinical Analyst had the opportunity to work from home. Sr. Network Analyst was able to receive a huge increase.
- Network person leaving the country and application distribution person going to competitor.
- Epic staff leaving for greener pastures of consulting.
- Several lower level staff have departed.
- We have been fortunate, mostly due to lifestyle that our geography provides.
- In 11 years, I’ve had 3 staff turnover. Incredible!
2. If so, where did the majority go?
- We are in competition for the same resources with the same skill sets among a number of hospitals in the region.
- Other hospital and consulting … tremendous lure.
- Lots of opportunities for those wanting to be road warriors.
- Historically we have had very low turnover; very few departures over the past several months, no “regrettable losses.”
- They aren’t leaving in droves. Just the typical life events that one sees over time.
3. Have you had any open positions for at least three months that you have been unable to fill?
- We used temporary consultants in some roles for the first time and worked with our fellow clinical depts to determine if there were any viable candidates we could train from within, etc.
- Sr. Clinical Analysts
- Project Management leadership
- Qualified Interface Engineering Position
- In particular, people with interface programming skills.
- Clinical and pharmacy analysts
- But it is slim pickings for sure.
- Soon to be posting 2 new positions for ambulatory EHR installations. These might be challenging to fill.
4. Is your current staff under excessive strain due to Meaningful Use-related work?
- As well as other upgrades for Meaningful Use, HIPAA 5010, ICD10, etc.
- But not just MU. Many other activities including strategic initiatives and ICD-10.
- There is more stress and strain, but I would not classify it as “excessive.”
- Mostly the work is additive to other priorities.
- Expectations for IT are at an all-time high. At the same time, there is intense pressure for the institution to rein in costs and to trim budgets. This must happen while IT is expected to deliver more yet bear “its fair share” of the cost-cutting pain.
- More work? Sure. Has anything changed? No. My IT teams, regardless of location or decade have always had more work that we have time to accomplish. Meaningful Use has added another thread, so on top of Strategic, Tactical, critical, important, necessary, we add Meaningful.
- It’s not just MU. Release upgrades, ICD10, readmissions reductions, etc. These all require IT.
- MU combined with everything else leads to the excessive strain, not MU alone.
- No more than normal, just finishing implementation of Advanced Clinicals.
- But it’s tense.
- Strain yes, excessive no.
- We have strain, but it’s more due to EHR implementation so it’s a tie to MU, but not MU driving.
- We aren’t there yet, but we are in a good place to achieve MU by 10/1/11.
- Meaningful Use is just one of a variety of stressors — clinical systems in general, ICD10, major ERP implementation, etc.
5. Are you personally experiencing an unsustainable level of strain due to overwork, excessive pressures, and lack of sufficient time off?
- The demands and pace are greater than ever.
- But again not just MU…
- More the pressure. I encourage vacation and pacing to avoid burnout.
- There is more pressure, but not excessive levels. Vacation will be very short this Summer.
- If you are a healthcare CIO, I would be surprised if answer was no.
- Ongoing pressures, unreasonable expectations to do much more with less — insatiable appetites of customers for more and more IT investment, likely future funding constraints. In the long run, it is not a sustainable situation.
- I am not sure the word unsustainable is correct and therefore clicked no, although all of the stressors you mention certainly do exist at this time.
- Lots of pressures. Many of my peers agree that we have an unprecedented level of high priorities.
- Not unsustainable, but definitely a challenge.
- I am more focused on where we are going and less concerned about the effort. I am, however, concerned about my staff and the institution. The financial pressure is intense and — coupled with the mandate for significant change in how we practice — it is incredibly stressful for those of us that are more “change averse.”
- It is a higher level of strain lately, but I’m still managing to fit in time off. Maybe that is why I am managing!