D'Arcy Gue

What is the Impact of the Healthcare Staffing Shortages?

May 1, 2014

Healthcare IT 2 Minute Read

The issue of staffing shortages has plagued the healthcare industry for the past few years. The industry has continued to grow, regardless of the general economic state. It’s not only growing, it’s growing at a rapid pace, which results in a constant increase in the need for more staff.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections for 2012 to 2022, the demands aren’t going to decrease any time soon. The industry is projected to add 5 million jobs between 2012 and 2020 and the majority of the fastest growing industries in the latest labor statistics report are in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare Labor Statistics

What does healthcare staffing shortages mean for healthcare organizations?

With the technology demands imposed by the federal government to accelerate the use of IT, more and more support is needed. If you’re in an organization, working to implement any of the initiatives below, it’s likely you’ve felt the pressures of insufficient staffing and expertise.

  • Meaningful Use / MIPS stages 1 and 2
  • ICD-10
  • Clinical application support
  • Service Desk support
  • Clinical informatics
  • Implementation of technologies to improve patient engagement

All of this work needs to be done by someone, and right now it appears that the job opportunities are much larger than the number of qualified professionals seeking those jobs. This puts organizations in a tough spot. According to a study performed by CSC, an independent analytics firm, there will be a shortfall of 51,000 healthcare IT industry professionals by the end of this year.

Some of the primary concerns related to staffing are illustrated below:

healthcare staffing shortage, healthcare staffing shortages, staffing shortages in healthcare, healthcare it staffing

The staffing need is exhibited in additional survey results — only six percent of respondents in the 2014 HIMSS Leadership Survey reported that their organization did not have any IT staffing needs at this time and 39 percent of respondents expect to add staff in the next twelve months.

Today, EMRandHIPAA.com is conducting a poll that has found (so far) that over 70 percent of respondents see a healthcare IT workforce shortage.

We will be examining the consequences and solutions of these challenges in the weeks to come as part of a series on the serious problems caused by the healthcare IT staffing shortage.

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