New Research Finds Shortage of Health IT Workers Could Slow Industry Progress

Solving the Talent Question for Health ITSolving the Talent Question for Health IT

PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) provides research and analysis on trends impacting various health industries. The Institute publishes the results of its research. The Institute’s latest report finds that the growing shortage of health information technology (HIT) workers appears greater than previously estimated. The report, entitled Solving the talent equation for health IT, concludes that the healthcare industry is competing for a limited number of IT professionals with companies trying to fill a talent void by recruiting specialists from other industries. It also outlines common strategies for shared health IT staffing challenges.

“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 Health Information Technology 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.”

According to the research report, C-level healthcare executives are concerned that the industry may not be able to absorb and integrate the changes in health IT and have their staffs keep pace with these changes.  Nearly 80 percent of the healthcare CEOs surveyed expect to increase their company’s technology investments in 2013, yet 51% fear their staff cannot keep up with the demand and pace of change. And 77% indicated they are reviewing hiring strategies to address gaping holes in health IT. The results indicate there is an ongoing challenge in health IT to find workers who understand the industry’s movement to an integrated health system.

Additionally, under pressure to meet requirements for the EHR Incentive Program, physicians and hospitals have the greatest need for health IT specialists with 75% of providers in a hiring mode for employees to support their IT priorities.

You can download a full copy of the report by visiting