A Growing Number of Health IT Jobs, but a Shortfall of Talent

With an 11 percent growth rate in 2009, Health information technology (HIT) is outpacing all other segments of the health care market, according to Scientia Advisors of Cambridge, MA.  Scientia Advisors predicts that in the near term, government incentives in the U.S. will catalyze hospitals’ and physicians’ adoption of clinical HIT applications.  There is a government mandate that began last year to improve healthcare efficiency involving Clinical and Non-Clinical data, driving the industry towards Administrative, Management and Financial/Accounting solutions. The HIT is Electronic Health Record Technology related to an individual's health information. This information may include patient demographic and clinical health information, such as medical history and problem lists and has the capacity to provide clinical decision support.  According to research by Scientia, In-patient Electronic Health Records (Clinical Health Information Systems) will continue to be a fast growing market.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which mandates that hospitals and physicians switch to electronic medical records by 2014, spurred industry growth with a $49 billion investment. This spells job growth in the Electronic Medical Records fields. The industry is growing so quickly that it is expected there will be a shortfall of 50,000 health IT workers in the next five years.

According to data sourced from WANTED Analytics™,  in the last 120 days alone Employers in the U.S. Hospital, Physicians, Dentists and Ambulatory Health Care industry sectors directly posted 3,900 new job ads containing the skill keywords “electronic medical records”.

Candidates for one such open position, titled Clinical Documentation Specialist are being sought by the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ. Knowledge relative to physician clinical documentation within electronic medical records is a required qualification. The job description is as follows:

Mayo Clinic Health IT Job Posting
Source: WANTED Analytics

A recruiter looking to source appropriate talent in the Phoenix market for this position would find the new Talent web sourcing application in the forthcoming WANTED Analytics™ 3.0 platform to be a useful tool. The Talent web application will help the Recruiter identify three major Business Intelligence components for this search:

  1. Estimate the talent pool in Phoenix, AZ by “electronic medical records” skill keyword
  2. Gauge the current competition for similar talent in Phoenix, AZ
  3. Identify Employers who had in the past advertised for similar talent (where qualified candidates may still be working)
A Keyword query in Talent would look like this:

Medical / Health; Medical Records and Health Information Technicians; "electronic medical records"; Health Care and Social Assistance in Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA, AZ.

This search query produces the following Candidate Supply count graph:

Health IT Candidate Supply - Phoenix, AZ
Source: WANTED Analytics

The graph shows that in U.S., there are a total of 130,647,610 employed people. This number becomes the baseline for talent estimation by skill keyword. In Phoenix, Arizona there are 1.77 million people and about 173,000 of them are in Medical/Health functions. All the data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics OES (Occupational Employment Statistics) Survey. About 2,800 people in Phoenix, AZ who are working in Medical Records and Health Information Technicians occupations. Among those, an estimated 1,400 are working in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry sectors.

The skill keywords “electronic medical records” search four years of data for Current and Prior job postings in the Phoenix, AZ market for the Medical Records and Health Information Technicians occupation. Looking at the keyword ratio of job postings among all the job ads in Phoenix for Health Care and Social Assistance industry in the same occupation, Talent applies the same ratio to the BLS industry Supply Count (1,450) and estimates that there are 116 skilled people in the “electronic medical records” field in Phoenix.

So, the talent pool that the Mayo Clinic will be able to tap into to find their desired candidate for the Clinical Documentation Specialist position is an estimated 116.

A Prior Hiring map, as below, shows the job locations where employers advertised for this skill in the past and most likely filled those positions.

Hiring Map for Phoenix, AZ Health IT Candidates
Source: WANTED Analytics

The Talent app produces a search result page on Current and Prior Employers for this skill-set in the Phoenix, AZ market. The screenshot below shows that there are currently 2 employers, Banner Health and Banner Boswell Medical Center, competing for the same talent from an estimated pool of 116 people.

Phoenix, AZ Health IT Current and Prior Hiring
Source: WANTED Analytics

However, in the past, as the search result page indicates, 11 employers sought the same type of candidates. Candidates that match the search requirements could still be working for these employers. Banner Health appears on both the Currently Hiring and Prior Hiring list. Since, Banner Health is looking for same skill-sets which they had employed earlier, it may be very difficult to source a talent from that organization. They are a current competitor of Mayo Clinic for the same talent.

Davita advertised for a “Medical Records Facilitator – DNP PHX MSO” position in June 2008. From reading the job description below, it seems similar to the qualifications currently sought by the Mayo Clinic. Therefore, the person hired by Davita to do the job could potentially be an ideal candidate for the Mayo Clinic’s current open position.

Job Description Medical Records Facilitator - DNP PHX - MSO - Tempe, AZ Primary Accountabilities organizes and manages the daily functions of medical records through Centricity-EMR (Electronic Medical Records) program and transcription. Resolves interface errors between EMR, Centricity-PM and various laboratory organizations. Super user for EMR and coordinates preload efforts. Responsible to maintain and send all referring physician, consult and primary care physician letters. Performs other duties as assigned. Organizational Accountability Maintains communication with pods regarding status of interface issues. Participates in and supports departmental quality improvement programs and processes. Supports confidentiality of patient information.

Going to a well-known resume data bank, such as Monster.com, a recruiter can locate a person with a name and number who has worked with Davita or is still working there in Phoenix, AZ and supposedly has an “electronic medical records” skill-set.

Monster's resume data-bank shows 15 candidates in Phoenix who have at one point worked with Davita. Five of them are still there. However, many of them are especially skilled in medical work, more so than health information technology. Studying the resume profile, the Recruiter can prepare a shortlist and approach the selected persons to establish their interests to move from Davita for the Mayo Clinic.

The LinkedIn Recruiter platform is also a useful source for locating appropriate talent. A search with the keyword “electronic medical records” and current company Davita reveals 5 different persons. None of them are in Phoenix, AZ area, but if for some reason the Monster.com candidate leads do not work the way the Recruiter intends, then these people could be approached as well. One person, currently at Davita as a Business Development Specialist in Dayton, OH was critical, according to the LinkedIn profile, in promoting the adoption of DaVita’s newly released Health Record technology.  So, it could be worthwhile to approach this person in Dayton to establish interest in relocating to Phoenix.

The Talent web sourcing tool helped to estimate the size of passive candidate pool, gauge current competition and identify employers where a person could be located and approached, narrowing the search for appropriate talent and providing leads on passive candidates who might be interested in a new position.