With healthcare information technology deadlines looming, providers are eager to quickly find and hire qualified workers. But numerous forces present challenges to rapid IT staffing. Among them: Healthcare is competing not only within its own industry, but across the economy, for IT workers that are already in short supply.
According to the 2012 College of Healthcare Information Management Executives survey, chief information officers are seeing an 8% increase in the shortage for health IT staff over the last two years. This year, 67% of respondents reported a shortage versus 59% two years ago.
This is good news for IT workers, who can be choosy about where to sign on, but for healthcare CIOs, recruiting and retaining IT staff presents challenges.
IT workers are in high demand across various industries. The competition comes at a particularly tough time for healthcare, where the demands of healthcare reform call for deep IT resources.
According to Chad Daugherty, Managing Director for Information and Technology Services at Randstad Technologies, the firm's IT recruiting business began to shift to healthcare in 2006 and 2007.
"We're experiencing a kind of technology boom in the healthcare space very similar to the dot-com boom," says Daugherty, who has 14 years of experience recruiting for technology positions. "The only difference is the dot-com boom was a bubble—you saw growth into 2000 and 2001, and then it really dropped off. What you're seeing today though is not bubble, this is going to go on for the next 15 to 20 years."