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PwC: Healthcare providers scrambling for IT workers

March 12 2013

The healthcare industry is vying for a limited number of IT professionals and many companies are scrambling to fill the talent void by recruiting tech specialists from other industries, according to “Solving the talent equation for health IT,” a PricewaterhouseCooper Health Industry Institute report.

“The challenge for healthcare is not just a shortage of people with technical skills. It’s also a shortage of people with the skills to marry technological savvy with business strategy as healthcare becomes more connected, coordinated and accountable,” said Daniel Garrett, principal and PwC’s HIT practice leader. “Despite billions of dollars spent investing in HIT, the lack of qualified professionals could slow progress toward quality and efficiency. The benefits of HIT will not be realized until organizations can ensure information is unlocked and integrated in a way to best inform critical business and clinical decision-making.”

Healthcare CEOs were asked, “How concerned are you about the following potential business threats to your growth prospects? To what extent do you anticipate changes at your company in the following areas over the next 12 months?” According to the responses:

  • 51 percent are threatened by the speed of technology change
  • 62 percent are concerned about the availability of skill
  • 77 percent anticipate changes in talent strategies
  • 79 percent anticipate an increase in technology investments in the coming year.

Providers were asked to weigh in on their staffing challenges. Results included:

  • 59 percent say staffing challenges will negatively impact their chances to receive meaningful use incentives
  • 67 percent are experiencing IT staff shortages
  • 75 percent are hiring new talent to support IT

Information for the report came from PwC’s 16th annual CEO survey 2012; the 2012 CHIME CIO survey; and the PwC Health Research Institute human capital survey 2012.

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