What to Look for in the Healthcare IT Workforce
The good folks at the Institute for Healthcare Information Technology asked me to respond to some key questions they have regarding developing and retaining Health IT workers in the state of Georgia.
Here’s a short summary of what I think about Georgia healthcare IT workforce readiness.
- When hiring Healthcare IT workers, what type of experience does your company need most?
PointClear primarily hires highly experienced software Architects/Developers, User Experience professionals, Clinical Business Analysts, and Project Managers as consultants to work for our clients developing world-class healthcare software. The software applications include mobile, web and enterprise. We occasionally hire less experienced personnel but with some real world experience and who are coming out of graduate programs in Human Factors or Health Informatics.
- What are the Healthcare IT skills, which you require, are the most difficult to find in today’s market?
Quality and experienced architects/developers are in such high demand they are the most difficult. Plus, we require our personnel to have strong people and consulting skills that shrink the availability of these folks.
- What specific source(s) has proven to be the most successful for you in finding workers?
Referrals from employees, clients and others in the PointClear ecosystem/network produce the highest qualified and lowest risk candidates. However, we continue to seek and harvest candidates from other traditional recruiting sources via our HR recruiting department.
- What is the minimum level of education that is acceptable for prospective Healthcare IT workers in your organization?
Graduate level degrees in all of the skills mentioned above other than Architects/Developers. We have learned over the years many high quality software engineers are self-taught and have mastered their skill on the job. Therefore, we often waive the graduate level requirement and sometimes waive the undergraduate level requirement. However, we still maintain a very high standard for our employees and their skills sets and experience levels.
- How much do Healthcare IT certifications weigh into your evaluation of a job candidate, particularly in comparison with those who have only traditional educational degrees?
Traditionally they have not been that important to us. However, if we are considering an architect/developer candidate who also has some level of certification in healthcare technology standards or user interface design or health informatics, that person would obviously go to the front of the line. Similarly, if a User Experience or Clinical BA candidate were to have some level of certification in technology they would go to the front of the line. Basically, a certification in a cross-disciplinary skill will make a candidate more attractive to us than otherwise.
- If the education system of Georgia were to develop an “orientation” class specifically related to Healthcare IT, would your company be interested in participating or being involved? In what way?
Perhaps as an advisor in helping shape the curriculum. We believe the education system should indeed develop workers who are specialized in high demand skills, but we also believe that student/workers should be cross educated in a basket of secondary skills to augment their primary skill. These student/workers are more valuable both short and long-term to themselves and to the economy.
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