July 14, 2012
One of my frequent recommendations for organizations looking to improve their ability to compete is to harness emerging technologies – both informatics and treatment technologies. Some of our recent coverage of tech strategy issues includes Will A Robot Steal Your Job? all members, If You Can Be Replaced by a Smartphone, You Will Be all members, and Innovate or Else? all members.
But finding the tech-savvy staff you need is a challenge now and likely to be more challenging the future. That was my take away reading the new report by Burning Glass Technologies, A Growing Jobs Sector: Health Informatics. The authors report that growth in health care job listings from 2007 to 2011 was 9% — compared to 6% across all industries. But, the growth in health informatics job listings in the same time period is 36%. This is certainly driven by the federal policy priorities to increase use of electronic health recordkeeping systems – but it is also the result of executive teams of health and human service organizations realizing that they need to do something with all that new data.
Where is the health informatics job growth? According to the Burning Glass report, clinical analysts and clinical documentation mangers top the list; followed closely by information specialists, coding auditors, and managers/directors of clinical informatics.
Given the demand for these positions, one question for every organization is how to compete for this high-demand talent pool. Anticipating this need, the federal Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is working on building the workforce in this area by funding educational programs to meet the demand. But even this may not be enough. In addition to the ONC’s efforts, the Burning Glass report’s authors suggest a ‘growing your own’ approach when it comes to tech staff. They have created a very interesting model of a ten-year career ladder that grows health information clerks into health information managers through a structured set of skills development.
Looking ahead, talent management strategies in health and human services need to include not just recruiting and retraining top clinical staff and skilled community-based workers. We need to add health informatics skills to that short list.
Monica E. Oss
Chief Executive Officer, OPEN MINDS
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