Tech talent shortage will hurt health care

Employers are having trouble finding and keeping technology workers. That’s the consensus from the Society for Information Management’s meeting in Boston last week, says the Boston Globe. Demand is up, many techies are nearing retirement age, and students have been deterred from entering technology fields because of all the hype they’ve heard about offshoring.

It’s especially hard to take implementation resources offshore, and that presents a problem for health care organizations in the US that are looking to implement IT initiatives, such as adoption of electronic health records. Health care organizations are learning the hard way that there is a serious lack of qualified IT people, especially those who understand health care. That shortage is one of the reasons that IT adoption in health care has been so much slower than expected. Even organizations that have made the necessary financial and behavioral commitments have gotten tripped up because of their failure to attract the right tech talent.

There are a couple of ways that buyers can address this problem:

  • Working with a software and hardware vendor that can guarantee that it has the right resources on staff
  • Favoring solutions (such as ASP models) that require less onsite technical help
September 18, 2005

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