Healthcare News & Insights

Staffing shortages: The biggest obstacle to health IT adoption

Though healthcare organizations see value in technology, many aren’t able to implement health IT as much as they would like. The biggest reason? Hint: It’s not a lack of funding. 

While budget issues had been the primary obstacle keeping organizations from making new health IT investments over the past several years, staffing shortages are now the biggest problem, according to a recent report from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Lack of adequate staffing resources was the top challenge when it comes to health IT, cited by 22% of the 302 healthcare organizations polled. That was followed by lack of adequate financial support (14%) and vendors’ inability to deliver satisfactory products and services (12%).

In response, the majority (61%) of organizations plan to add IT staff over the next 12 months, compared to just 5% expecting a decrease. Many respondents plan to boost the size of their IT staff considerably, with 6% predicting an increase of more than 20%, and 17% planning for a 10%-20% increase.

That hiring increase will create a lot of competition for health IT professionals. The highest demand, according to the survey, will be for candidates to fill jobs in:

  1. clinical application support (43%)
  2. network and architecture support (22%), and
  3. clinical informatics (20%).

To learn more, download the 23rd Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey.

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