HIMSS and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) have released the findings of their 2012 HIE Staffing Model Environmental Scan. The results show that Healthcare information exchange organizations have become significant employers for both health information technology and healthcare information management professionals.
Noting this trend HIMSS and AHIMA established a joint workgroup to explore both current and planned HIE staffing models with the objective of providing an 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 realizedif 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.