Survey: 61% of vendors, 42% of providers report increasing IT staff

The majority of healthcare organizations had increasing or stable workforces in 2016, according to the 2017 HIMSS Leadership and Workforce Survey.

The report, which surveyed 368 health IT leaders in the United States, found 42 percent of healthcare providers and 61 percent of vendors/consultants increased their workforce size in the past year. Twenty-eight percent of healthcare providers and 17 percent of vendors/consultants reported their workforce size stayed the same.

Here are four more findings from the report.

• The most common health IT roles hired by healthcare providers were classified as IT support positions, in contrast to management, development or implementation. For vendors/consultants, the most common roles hired were field support staff, which was more common than general support staff, sales or executive positions.

• Almost half (43 percent) of healthcare providers reported having open positions to fill. The majority (61 percent) of vendors/consultants also reported workforce vacancies. One way organizations addressed this challenge was by outsourcing work to an external company, an option which 82 percent of healthcare providers utilized for support positions last year.

• Around one-third of both healthcare providers (36 percent) and vendors/contractors (37 percent) reported that workforce challenges negatively impacted their organization, leading the organization to either put IT projects on hold or scale them back. For healthcare providers, the top workforce challenge was developing the skills of current IT staff.

• In the coming year, vendors/contractors reported they hope to increase their workforce, while responses from healthcare providers are mixed. Sixty-six percent of vendors/contractors project an increase, compared to only 31 percent of healthcare providers. Thirty-six percent of healthcare providers expect workforce size to stay the same.

Click here to view more of the report's findings.

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