Demand and pay for health IT talent surges, according to online career site Dice.com.
By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee InformationWeek
July 26, 2011 12:45 PMLooking for a well-paying tech job? You may want to consider a health IT job, for which openings--along with pay--are soaring year over year, according to online career site, Dice.com, which specializes in engineering and technology postings.While the number of open IT jobs posted on Dice.com overall has climbed 24% since last year, demand for health IT talent has shot up the most, said Alice Hill managing director of Dice.com."Health IT jobs are up 75% over last year," said Hill in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare.Although health IT jobs make up a relatively small segment of overall tech jobs posted on Dice.com, "nothing has been as large" as the surge in demandseen by Dice for health IT postings, she said. Approximately 3,000 health IT jobs are currently posted on Dice.com, she said.It's not just the number of health IT job openings that are spiking, but pay for those positions is climbing too, she said.Overall, "technology salaries have been flat for some time, even going down in some areas," she said. By contrast, average pay for health IT-related job postings in the medical and pharmaceutical segments has increased about 7% since 2009 to $85,244.Health IT annual pay averaged in the mid to upper $70K range for many years till recently when it broke the $80K mark, she said.Of health IT, the set of skills being most sought after are those related to e-health records or e-medical records, she said.That's not surprising, considering the mad dash underway by thousands of hospitals and doctor offices nationwide to comply with federal government deadlines so that the healthcare providers can qualify for the more than $27 billion in incentive money allotted by the HITECH Act for the Meaningful Use of health IT, including EHR and EMR systems.Also, among health IT job openings, positions that require skills in working with Cerner health IT platforms have jumped 80%, said Hill.Overall within health IT, many employers are seeking professionals with previous experience working in enterprise environments, as well as strong analytical and problem solving skills, she said."These aren't entry level positions, but jobs demanding experienced people," she said.Among employers looking to fill health IT jobs include Sharp Healthcare in San Diego, UnitedHealth in Minneapolis, and Baylor Health in Dallas, according to a Dice spokeswoman. Open positions at those organizations include health IT program and project mangers, and senior systems analyst.The hunt for experienced health IT people could get tougher as Meaningful Use deadlines loom, and newly installed EHR, computerized physician order entry, and other clinical information systems require ongoing support and enhancements, Hill said."I don't think this is a bubble," she said.In fact, the U.S. government has predicted a shortage of 50,000 health IT workers in coming years. The HITECH Act also allotted funding for workforce development and training, including programs involving community colleges across the country.In addition, private organizations have been also stepping up with new programs to train an emerging health IT workforce. Recent offerings range from new certificate programs for health IT implementation and support technicians from professional organization CompTIA to online training EHR courses for techies and non-techies from private educational firm Alameda Services.Meanwhile, historically, the ups and downs Dice.com has seen in demand of particular skill sets often have been a trailer for larger trends in the works, said Hill.In the past "we saw mobile was getting hot" months before skills related to the technology were demanded by large numbers of employers across many industries, she said."By the time you put jobs up for posting, employers have to have a budget and plan in place" to utilize those demanded skills and technologies, she said.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
"Alameda Services Unveils Electronic Health Record (EHR) eLearning Series to Meet Increasing Demand for Healthcare IT (HIT) Training"
Health Information Technology (HIT) organization offers online courses to educate and inform about electronic health records.NEW YORK, NY, July 20, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- At a time when healthcare accountability is crucial for success, emerging technologies can dramatically improve the standard of patient care and enhance patient experience. The need for greater understanding is especially acute when it comes to the complexities of electronic health records (EHR). To help healthcare providers of all specialties, their staff and the public to master the intricacies of EHR Alameda Services, a dynamic Health Information Technology (HIT) organization specializing in workforce development and intense Electronic Health Record (EHR) training, today announced the launch and availability of its first e-learning segment that will serve as a powerful Web-based EHR training tool. More information about Alameda Services is available at http://www.alamedaservices.com.Alameda's new series of online courses educates and informs participants about electronic health records (EHR), healthcare reform, and Meaningful Use, expanding their understanding of the rapidly-evolving healthcare technology landscape. This online, interactive content is based on two years of popular in-class training programs, as well as regular interface with providers, employers, and EHR software vendors. It offers extensive hands-on experience and certification designed to increase workforce efficiency and job placement in healthcare industry. In today's world, where time is a premium, the new program simplifies access to important topics for busy healthcare professionals, as well as anyone who is looking for HIT training."EHR is one of the most essential components in today's technologically advanced healthcare environment," explains Lena Feygin, Dip LC, executive vice president and director of business development for Alameda Services. "As healthcare professionals continue the process of transitioning from paper-based records to electronic health records, our goal is to help them embrace the full benefits of cutting-edge technology to provide the best possible service for their patients. From our perspective, education is the best way to make that a reality. We believe that delivering this kind of powerful, expert-level training will enable healthcare practitioners to advance patient safety, reduce medical errors, improve medical outcomes, and enhance office efficiencies."In light of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, healthcare organizations and medical practices across the country are racing to adopt EHR in order to qualify for incentive payments. Alameda's online courses serve as an expedient alternative to traditional classroom training. It is not only an opportunity for doctors and healthcare administrators to adjust to a new environment, but also empower people of all walks of life to learn about the history and benefits of the new reform and help them understand the basics of Meaningful Use."We believe that our readily-built and dynamic online course is the perfect way for providers to meet the critical challenge of new technologies and take their skills to the next level," Feygin says. "The availability of the online courses reflects our continued commitment to deliver healthcare technology solutions that will improve quality of care, curtail skyrocketing healthcare costs, and enhance communication between providers and patients."The online program is available 24/7, allowing the participants not only to learn everything they need to know at their own pace and convenience, but also save time and money. The introductory segment will be incorporated into the first module, which is due to be released this fall. It comes at no charge for healthcare providers, administrative staff, members of the media, and the general public who choose to take it now. Those who participate in a brief survey will receive a 10 percent discount on the full module when it debuts in the fall.To register, please click here.Unique Benefits of the Segment Include:- Participants will learn the history of the new healthcare reform and become aware of the factors that led to changes in the healthcare industry- The course explains how a new reform will impact individuals, families, communities, as well as early retirees and small businesses.- The course addresses the "pre-existing condition clause" and describes its impact on individuals with pre-existing conditions- Participants will familiarize themselves with the core capabilities of EHR and Meaningful Use requirements- The course explains EHR Workflow SystemAbout Alameda ServicesALAMEDA Services specializes in workforce development through training and eLearning consulting. The company's mission is to bridge the gap between the healthcare and technology industries, and to satisfy their growing workforce demands by providing technology and educational expertise. More information is available at http://www.alamedaservices.com.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
July 7, 2011 — 10:13am ET | By Janice SimmonsAs the demand to certified electronic health record specialists (CEHRS) continues to escalate, healthcare organizations will have to take additional steps to ensure that potential candidates are right for the job. For starters, try quizzing them on a few common acronyms: HIPAA, HITECH, PQRI, MU. If they don't know what these jumbles of letters stand for, they may not be right for the job.EHR employment readiness requires training and knowledge of the healthcare industry and health information technology, Lena Feygin, executive vice president of New York City-based Alameda Services, told Healthcare IT News."We often see one or the other, but it isn't sufficient, said Feygin, who is also director of business development for Alameda, a consulting and training organization that specializes in workforce development and EHR training.During the next decade, job growth for medical records and health information technicians is expected to grow more than 20 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To help address that demand, Alameda created a five-point EHR checklist to assess individuals' EHR workforce readiness:1. They 'get' healthcare and have EHR expertise. Candidates for EHR training and CEHRS certification should have prior experience in either healthcare administration or information technology.2. They studied with a curriculum approved by the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the governing body that provides CEHRS certification.3. They obtained more hours of EHR training than the industry baseline. While the NHA requires 60 hours of training, Alameda Services suggests that additional training is needed so EHR students can spend hands-on time with more than one EHR system--making them more versatile with multiple products.4. They're fluent in the language and acronyms of healthcare records compliance. This includes many commonly used terms such as HIPAA, HITECH, PQRI and Meaningful Use criteria.5. They've learned multiple EHRs. Healthcare EHR staffers who have hands-on experience with more than one EHR are able to provide guidance to their healthcare practices about which one might be the best fit.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
By: Molly Merrill, Associate Editor, Originally Published in Healthcare IT NewsNEW YORK – As the need for certified electronic health record specialists (CEHRS) grows, it is important that healthcare organizations are able to recognize whether potential candidates are EHR-ready, says one consultant.The CEHRS job is to create, maintain and secure patient records, said Lena Feygin, executive VP of Alameda Services, a New York City-based HIT organization specializing in workforce development and intense EHR training.Alameda has developed a curriculum for training EHR specialists in two years. She said it focuses on four major areas: the technology segment, the workflow and business processes, compliance with regulations like HIPAA and ARRA and a hands-on component that requires working with the software in a clinical environment.Feygin says that their program often exceeds the requirements of the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the governing body for the CEHRS certification, and has been successfully piloted at La Guardia Community College and the Met Council on Jewish Poverty.“We believe that EHR employment readiness requires training and knowledge of both the healthcare industry and the information technology that the industry uses. We often see one or the other, but it isn’t sufficient,” said Feygin, who is also director of business development for Alameda Services.The training organization has developed a five- point checklist to help prospective workforce development organizations, students and healthcare providers assess the readiness of an EHR candidate for certification and employment.EHR Employment Readiness Checklist:
- Get healthcare and EHR expertise. Candidates for EHR training and CEHRS certification should have prior experience in either healthcare administration or information technology. Someone who has worked in a healthcare practice as a front desk clerk, billing person, or office manager might require a skills upgrade that will not only enable them to maintain their existing job, but gain a new job and add to their earning power. Someone with IT experience who understands hardware and software infrastructure will require clinical- and healthcare-specific software training that will allow for a wider spectrum of job opportunities. Training for the CEHRS exam requires that students understand both healthcare practice operations as well as medical record-keeping information. “It’s not enough to understand how a healthcare practice operates or how some software works; EHR specialists must understand both in order to be effective,” says Feygin.
- Study with an NHA-approved curriculum. Ensure that the training program is approved by the NHA. “Training organizations that provide approved national certification, such as CEHRS, as part of their programs report better retention, and placement,” says Feygin. “In addition, approved certification fosters the adoption of standards and an understanding of basic topics required for better job opportunities.”
- Obtain more hours of EHR training than the baseline. While the NHA only requires 60 hours of training, Alameda Services suggests that significant additional training is necessary so EHR students can spend hands-on time with more than one EHR system, making them more versatile with multiple products. This increased training can also enable them to actively participate, where applicable, in the selection of an EHR that is most fitting for a given healthcare practice. “We provided students in our EHR training programs for La Guardia Community College and the Met Council on Jewish Poverty with more than five times the required baseline – over 300 hours of training,” says Feygin. “The NHA certification sets the criteria and baseline for the industry. But we feel it is important to understand that achieving the baseline alone is not enough for success in the field.”
- Become fluent in healthcare records compliance. There is an entire alphabet-soup of healthcare records compliance requirements that healthcare records specialists must be fluent in: HIPAA, ARRA, HITECH, PQRI and Meaningful Use criteria. “We recognize that this can almost seem like speaking a second or third language,” says Feygin. “But healthcare providers must adjust to the new rules and demonstrate compliance. EHR specialists must be capable of preparing practices for these changes in the field.” In August she says the company is launching an eLearning program geared to those in the workforce that will aim at getting them up to speed on compliance issues.
- Learn multiple EHRs. While there are many competing EHR software packages, there are a great number of similarities. Becoming trained in multiple EHR programs makes students more employable, according to Feygin. “Healthcare EHR staffers who have hands-on experience with more than one EHR are able to provide guidance to their healthcare practices about which one might be the best fit. They can also quickly adapt to an existing EHR as a new employee.” She says the company provides a “vendor agnostic program”, which can be plugged into any program. Currently they work with EHR vendors Practice Fusion and EHealth Made Easy.Also Appeared in EHR Watch