Hospitals struggle to hire, retain Epic-certified IT talent

The US shortage of healthcare IT workers may be worsening, according to two new reports, and hiring challenges are especially acute for Epic-certified workers.

The Towers Watson 2013 Healthcare IT Survey finds two thirds of health care employers report difficulties recruiting experienced IT workers — a number that rises to 73 percent for Epic-certified workers. Retention is also an issue with 52 percent of respondents saying they are concerned about their ability to keep Epic-certified talent.

A new report by PwC’s Health Research Institute echoes the concerns of healthcare hiring managers. Nearly 60 percent say staffing challenges will negatively impact their chances to receive meaningful use incentives.

More than 75 percent of global healthcare CEOs and CIOs are revisiting their hiring and promotion strategies to address gaping holes in health IT. Filling the talent void with under-qualified or unspecialized talent could slow progress toward quality and efficiency, say PwC experts.

Healthcare CIOs blame the talent crunch on a limited supply of qualified workers, poaching by rivals, rising levels of compensation and legacy computer systems that IT staff don’t like to use, according to The Wall Street Journal.

To remedy this problem, employers should provide “challenging work,” offer a fair market value base pay, offer retention bonuses, provide training opportunities and improve their hospital or practice’s reputation, advises a article.

A hiring strategy that includes staff augmentation with consulting resources can help hospitals supplement their IT teams and accelerate critical EMR projects. We can help find qualified healthcare IT workers and Epic certified consultants to fit your needs. Contact us today to learn more.