Healthcare Facilities Need IT Workers – Stat

There isn’t an industry today where IT workers aren’t desperately needed, and that includes healthcare facilities. With so many facilities upgrading or thinking of upgrading to one unified system, there is a lot of question as to how that will be done, and if there are resources to do it.

A recent Towers Watson survey highlights the difficulties these organizations are having recruiting and hiring top IT talent.

Two-thirds (67%) are having problems attracting experienced IT employees, and 38% reporting retention issues. The attraction problem is even greater for Epic-certified professionals, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of the respondents reporting difficulty hiring these individuals, whose specialized skills are essential to meet new electronic medical record requirements under health care reform.

So what exactly is Epic? According to Stanford Hospitals and Clinics, Epic is:

  • A computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system allowing providers to manage and communicate orders and results
  • A clinical documentation tool that enhances workflow for all caregivers and makes information accessible to those who need it
  • An electronic medication administration record (eMAR) and closed-loop medication administration system that ensures patient safety and reduces errors
  • An integrated set of tools that allows data to move with patients across all areas such as clinics, the emergency department, and inpatient units
  • An electronic system for patient registration, appointment scheduling, billing and other business related functions
  • An online communication tool which connects our referring providers with us
  • A patient portal which empowers our patients to become directly involved in the management of their own health information and the services they receive.

Besides implementing Epic, there are several reasons why hospitals need IT workers.

“Hospitals have an urgent need for experienced, highly skilled IT professionals to ensure they can meet new government requirements and qualify for financial incentives,” said Heidi Toppel, a senior rewards consultant in Towers Watson’s hospital industry group. “In addition, the ability to share patient care information and records accurately and seamlessly with a range of other providers will be essential to achieving patient satisfaction and quality-of-care outcomes in a more integrated approach to health care delivery.”

According to the survey, more than half (55%) of respondents are taking at least three measures to address their attraction and retention issues with IT professionals. Among the most effective are increasing base pay rates, offering retention bonuses, and providing additional education and training.

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