The EHR Employment Drive

When it was passed in 2009, the HITECH act was part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, which had a stated goal of using government investments in order to help fight the recession that had begun in 2008. While many people have many different ideas for why EHR adoption is necessary, its presence within the ARRA indicates the focus is to create new jobs. As the elements of the act take effect and more healthcare organizations are preparing to implement EHR’s and attest for meaningful use, they need people with the knowledge and skills to assist in these endeavors.

According to a survey by Wanted Technologies earlier this year, the EHR skillset is the most demanded among healthcare jobs, with over 15,000 positions listed online in the month of August asking for these abilities. Further, the number of advertised jobs requiring EHR skills has risen close to 90 percent over the past two years as hospitals prepare for the transitions. All the major roles in a hospital require some degree of electronic knowledge in order to succeed within the new look healthcare models. In addition to the jobs created for existing healthcare professionals, Health IT and EHR jobs are becoming more popular among college graduates.

However, it is not as simple as just hiring people for the jobs. Each organization has its own version of an EHR and its own workflow. Training therefore becomes key. An IBM study has found that an IT organization choosing to train new employees can cost one-fifth as much as hiring so called “skilled” workers. The trained individuals needed less IT support, performed tasks more efficiently and required less help from peers. Well-trained employees can be up to five times as efficient and therefore good training can save the employer money in the long run. As EHR implementation goes forward, training of employees will be key for efficient use of the systems.

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