Across the nation, the health system IT department seems to be the one place where we see constant changes and revisions. Key roles in healthcare IT and informatics are in demand to support health systems and their growing enterprises. As the new year approaches, here are some predictions for what positions will heat up next year — or in many cases, stay hot — based upon what I’m seeing and hearing in the marketplace.
The role of Chief Nursing Informatics Officer or Director of Clinical Informatics has seen an uptick in 2013. This will likely continue into 2014. The importance of this role is to communicate clinical work processes and standards of care, and influence the correct way to implement and optimize an EMR system at an organization. This role may not have staff and usually does not design, build or implement the EMR systems. The Chief Medical Information Officer role, which provides physician in information technology leadership, will also continue to be a vital position in 2014. Meanwhile, supporting staff roles in clinical IT and informatics will continue to be hot in the coming year.
The technical roles of Chief Technical Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, VP of Enterprise Data Analytics, and Director of Business Intelligence will continue to be important in 2014. Expanding enterprises, disaster recovery, security, data warehouses and Big Data are driving these roles. This is one area where individuals with experience outside of healthcare can be attractive and find employment in our industry.
Many organizations have created a Project Management Office to handle multi-million dollar IT projects. The role of PMP-trained leaders in IT will definitely grow in 2014 and will be in demand. (The issues with the healthcare.gov website have highlighted this critical role.)
More health system CIOs are identifying CIO successors amongst their leadership staff or are going to the outside to recruit an Associate or Deputy CIO. Organizations realize that it’s critical to have a second-in-command, and someone who can seamlessly fill the top role should the CIO leave or retire. Planning for succession will become increasingly commonplace next year.