NASHVILLE – Experts at the Nashville Health Care Council and Nashville Technology Council’s Health Care Information Technology Workforce Solutions Forum agree that a broad skill set and a desire for learning are necessary in order for Nashville to be positioned as a national health care information technology (HIT) leader.
Providers are looking for a blend of health care and technical specialists in HIT job candidates and within their own organizations, according to Janet Gilmore, assistant vice president, Human Resources for IT&S, HCA.
A panel of leading health care delivery organization executives say the role that HIT professionals play in the workforce is evolving: “The concept of HIT is changing. The old perception is a barrier,” said Kyle Duke, information security officer at HealthSpring. Fields like health care informatics are focused on well-rounded professionals with clinical and technology experience, which is in contrast to the narrow programming field that many associate with HIT.
Offering an international perspective, KPMG Global Lead Partner for Healthcare Mark Britnell, cited that the worldwide HIT workforce shortage is nearly 4 million. Britnell advocated the solutions that HIT offers nations around the world, including chronic disease and long term care management, cost reduction, improved quality of care, and interoperability. He also challenged attendees to “Look East” for solutions, where developing countries like China and India are quickly positioning themselves to use HIT in the delivery of care to their large populations. Dr. Britnell’s presentation is posted online.
These solutions are possible by looking five to ten years ahead to project market needs for HIT jobs, according to Shelley Mosley, associate partner, Healthcare Industry, IBM Global Business Services. Mosley, with a panel of technology support organizations, look for a blend of talents, including business skills and clinical expertise, created through cross training and on-the-job provider experience, combining to give HIT talent the ability to go beyond the traditional programmer role and fill implementation and consulting roles.
During the half-day event, a cross-section of more than 150 representatives from health care industry sectors, professional services firms, university faculty, and students, and government agencies participated in moderated table discussions. Groups identified challenges to HIT job development as well as potential solutions and partners for collaboration. Data gathered from this session will be compiled in aggregate form and published soon.
“Nashville, a national health care capital, has the key qualities to be a global leader in HIT. A critical factor in our success is strengthening and broadening the HIT talent that our more than 250 health care companies need,” said Health Care Council President Caroline Young.
“Today in Nashville, there are 897 open IT jobs, many of which are in healthcare” said Technology Council President Tod Fetherling. “Experts from today’s event gave us the information on how to begin addressing the challenges around developing HIT jobs and provide direction for growing this industry sector.”
About the Nashville Health Care Council
The Nashville Health Care Council, founded in 1995 as an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. The health care industry is Nashville’s largest and fastest growing employer, contributing approximately 210,000 jobs and $30 billion to the local economy. For more information on the Council, please visit www.healthcarecouncil.com.
About the Nashville Technology Council
The Nashville Technology Council, an affiliate of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an exclusive, C(6) nonprofit organization devoted to helping the Middle Tennessee technology community succeed. Membership is open to technology companies, technology employers, service providers, educational institutions and non-profit companies interested in supporting the growth of technology businesses in Middle Tennessee. Since its formation in 1999, the NTC’s membership has grown to more than 400 organizations throughout Middle Tennessee. For more information, please visit www.technologycouncil.com.