Health informatics job market in trouble

So many open positions, so few qualified to fill them!

    “The demand for health informatics workers is projected to grow at twice the rate of employment overall, but there is strong evidence that the nation already faces a shortage of qualified workers in this field,” according to a new report from research firm Burning Glass.

Moreover, the study shows, job postings for health informatics personnel stay open long than others.
Employers are struggling to fill many of these jobs, according to the Burning Glass. On average, health informatics positions stay open for 35 days – two days longer than the national average posting duration of 33 days.

     Postings for medical records clerk, an older position, stays open for 18 days on average, compared to 38 days for its newer successor, clinical analyst.

Even more striking, the authors note, is the fact that new and emerging health informatics positions stay open twice as long as the ones they are replacing.

The report attributes difficulties of hiring new personnel on the rapid evolution and growth in health informatics and also to a rapidly changing requirements.

It offers as example the position of clinical software applications specialist, which involves managing applications that track medical data; it simply did not exist 20 years ago.

Other changes, including payment reforms, privacy requirements, and conversion to ICD-10, are making these emerging health informatics positions more complex.

The research also shows that many of the new jobs are hybrids, requiring skill sets from different disciplines and which therefore are not typically trained together and more difficult to fill.
A shortage of talent qualified to undertake these jobs can impede key improvements to America’s healthcare system – let alone the basic ability of the system to pay bills, the report concludes, and it highlights the need for educators, training organizations and workforce policymakers to develop more opportunities for students and job seekers to cross-train between healthcare and IT specialties.

December 12, 2014