To meet current growth trends in health IT systems and maintenance, the number of IT workers in the field must increase by 37 percent, says professor of health informatics at Oregon Health & Science University, William Hersh. Looking at current numbers, Hersh found 108,000 full-time HIT works in U.S. Hospitals.
All careers related to health data systems design, maintenance, and mining, including systems technicians and chief medical-information technology officers (CMI-TOs), are in a demand increase phase. This also includes, of course, HIPAA-related IT and compliance officer positions.
This fall, St. Louis University’s Doisey College of Health Sciences in St. Louis, MO will add a master’s degree program in informatics, says Jody Smith, chair of health informatics and information management at the school.
Nurses and physicians are migrating to HIT, according to Bonnie Siegal, a vice president with the health care recruiting firm Cejka Search Inc. Physicians are often found acting as CMI-TOs while continuing their medical practices. Nurses, on the other hand, tend to leave that profession to acts as chief nursing-information technology officers. Both professions can pay into the six figures, with CMI-TOs making upwards of $500,000.