Overcoming Healthcare IT Staffing Challenges

team healthcare staff

Plenty of benefits exist when healthcare organizations use robust EHR systems and other modern software applications. HealthIT.gov list these benefits for EHR applications:

  • More effective diagnoses
  • Reduction in medical errors
  • Improved communication
  • Enhanced convenience
  • Comprehensive, legible documentation
  • Streamlined coding and billing
  • Improved security
  • Reduced paperwork
  • Lowered testing duplication

According to a September 2021 Gartner, Inc. survey, a lack of talent availability is the most common reason why healthcare organizations aren’t implementing technologies with all of the benefits listed above. A talent shortage is the most significant barrier (64%); compare that to the 2020 results when that answer was given by just 4% of IT executives and it’s clear how this problem has grown exponentially.

More specifically, a talent shortage was named as the leading factor “inhibiting adoption” in all six tech areas surveyed: computer infrastructure and platform services; digital workplace; IT automation; network; security; and storage and database. A lack of talent availability was cited as the main adoption barrier for IT automation technologies (75%) and digital workplace technologies (41%).

The problem hasn’t gotten better in 2022. According to a June 2022 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were still about 5.5 million unfilled jobs in the country. A bit of improvement was seen that month—but it took place in retail trade, wholesale trade, and state and local government education, not in IT.

Some people believe the COVID pandemic and the Great Resignation that followed is the main cause. If so, they hope and reason, this will be a short-term challenge. Many experts, though, believe this will be a long-term component of the economy in the United States because of demographics. One notes how our population growth is the lowest in our history. Add in that millions of Baby Boomers—the generation that first worked in computer technology—have retired in 2020 and later, and that highlights the scope of the hiring challenge.

Challenges in Finding Young Healthcare IT Talent

When your healthcare organization has the time and bandwidth to recruit newly graduated college students and nurture them along, this can be a viable option. Your organization won’t be the only one with this strategy, of course, so you’ll need to really stand out.

Here’s one tactic. Sign up for college hiring fairs around the country and encourage them to speak to you about your company. Be prepared to discuss your workplace culture and how you provide a healthy work-life balance; 69% of new college graduates list this as important because of what they’ve learned about life during COVID.

Share other benefits with those prospects. Ones in demand for new graduates include student loan matching programs, quality retirement programs, flexible spending or health savings accounts, and employer-sponsored emergency savings funds.

You can also partner with colleges, year-round, as a recruiting strategy; hire interns; and use recruiting strategies online in places that young professionals will use.

These strategies and other ones like them can be quite helpful when developing talent over the long term. What they don’t address: how to quickly get experienced help with complex IT projects like implementing a new EHR system. This is where healthcare IT consulting firms like HealthTECH Resources come in to provide fast staff augmentation solutions.

Benefits of EMR/EHR Consulting Companies

EHR consultants supplement a healthcare organization’s IT team, filling in gaps in their areas of expertise and enhancing the IT team’s abilities and bandwidth. Sometimes, consultants work on site at healthcare facilities; other times, they work remotely. They may work with just one client at a time or have multiple ones. Each situation and need for IT talent is unique, and what’s important is to augment your staff in ways that work best for your needs.

HealthTECH Resources can provide experienced professionals when you’re implementing the following EHR systems:

Professionals in our deep and wide network can also provide expertise in managed care payer applications such as HealthEdge HealthRules and Facets Healthcare as well as other types of technologies. You can engage with them as consultants, contract to hire professionals, or permanent placements—whatever works best for you.

You can leverage their expertise in these areas and more:

Choosing EHR Consultants

Your healthcare organization will want people with the right expertise for your needs, and the first step is to review your in-house IT team to determine where skills gaps or bandwidth issues exist. You may discover that the team doesn’t have all of the necessary experience to, for example, implement a new EHR system. If so, that’s not unusual as that’s outside the scope of many IT jobs.

As part of this analysis, you can list each team member; their experience and specialties; their current projects; what projects they will likely be assigned during the EHR implementation project; and so forth. This will allow you to discern the skills and bandwidth for each IT professional. Then, determine the impact on your healthcare organization if their current and upcoming projects were slowed down or sidetracked. Will that be acceptable?

Once you have the information (and our expert leadership will be happy to help you with this analysis), you’ll know the specifics about what staff augmentation needs to occur. You can then supplement your staff with experienced professionals from EHR consulting companies—with HealthTECH Resources being the fastest, most knowledgeable, and reliable recruiting team in the industry today.

HealthTECH Resources: Healthcare IT Consulting Firm of Choice

At HealthTECH Resources, you can count on exactly the right professionals to augment your IT team. Our boutique-style agency specializes in just one niche: healthcare/EMR/EHR—and because we’re extremely well connected to this industry, we have extensive networks of talented IT professionals.

This will allow your healthcare organization to move ahead on projects that may have been stalled because of the talent shortage. With the right team, you are truly positioned to provide world-class health care. Please contact us online or call (602) 903-7961.