Where have all the ITs gone?

Two articles in the August issue of “For The Record” are at an interesting juxtaposition. One is entitled “Hospitals Build Their Own HIT to Meet Needs” and the other is “Staffing Shortages Plague HIT.”

CEO Linda Sullivan

As you would guess, the first discusses the fact that some hospitals are opting out of the off-the-shelf solution of EMRs like Epic. Instead they are tapping their own internal HIT resources and building their own EMRs while simultaneously addressing some of the other legislative mandates.

The other speaks for itself – there aren’t enough experienced or newly-minted health information technology personnel. It’s not surprising to me as I’m sure it’s not to most of us who either work in the hospital administration environment or sell into that space.

This is not a problem that is going to go away; not in the foreseeable future, in my opinion. During some recent travel I met a hardware technician whose specialty is installing Meditech. He’s a gray-haired, ponytailed IT guy who, while not saying as much, is clearly sought after by many in the industry.

I have heard anecdotally about so many young people who have college degrees and can’t find jobs. There seems to be a disconnect between the type of degrees people are getting and the sectors that are seeking employees. Perhaps a coalition of healthcare HR could craft a message to be delivered to appropriate educational institutions. And delivery via social media venues might make sense as well.

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