CHICAGO, (February 11, 2013) – Healthcare information exchange (HIE) organizations have become prime employers for both aspiring and experienced health information technology (IT) and healthcare information management (HIM) professionals, with the escalation of healthcare reform initiatives, such as HITECH and the Affordable Care Act. Noting this trend, plus the need for more formal research on necessary education, training, resources, talent and experience to effectively and efficiently staff HIE organizations, HIMSS and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) have released the findings of their 2012 HIE Staffing Model Environmental Scan.
HIMSS and AHIMA established a joint workgroup to explore both current and planned HIE staffing models with the goal of providing a clear understanding of the professional skill sets and experience critical to HIE organizational success. Representatives from 35 HIE organizations, encompassing a wide range of sizes, locations, funding strategies and stages of implementation, responded to a detailed survey on their operational strategies, current staffing profiles and anticipated hiring needs.
“The laudable goal of HIEs – to connect healthcare providers electronically to facilitate higher quality care – can only be realized if we ensure the right resources and staff are developed,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “This study outlines recommendations for moving this industry forward.”
Trends in Health Information Exchange Organizational Staffing: AHIMA/HIMSS HIE Staffing Model Environmental Scan presents the results of this effort, including:
- Detailed information on current and planned staffing for HIE organizations of all sizes, including the use of full-time, part-time, job-sharing, outsourcing and on-site contractor positions;
- Trends in staffing needs across the life span of an HIE organization;
- Use of federal programs, such as the HITECH Workforce Development Consortiums;
- Common staffing challenges encountered by HIE organizations;
- Recommendations for both HIE organizations and health IT professionals; and
- Suggestions for future research.
“Deployment and effective use of information technology is complex, challenging work requiring skilled staff. This study provides unique insight into the world of HIE organizations, focused on skill sets and experiences required for today’s and future expectations. This first study also sets a benchmark for additional workforce studies in this critical area,” says Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS.
HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of health and healthcare. Founded 52 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations are headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. HIMSS represents more than 52,000 individual members, of which more than two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 600 corporate members and more than 225 not-for-profit partner organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the best use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, research initiatives, and media vehicles designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at www.himss.org.
Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) represents more than 67,000 educated health information management professionals in the United States and around the world. AHIMA is committed to promoting and advocating for high quality research, best practices and effective standards in health information and to actively contributing to the development and advancement of health information professionals worldwide. AHIMA’s enduring goal is quality healthcare through quality information. www.ahima.org