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Top 7 Hottest Health IT Jobs

HIMSS recently sent out a message to their LinkedIn group which listed CIO.com’s list of top 7 hottest health IT skills (and I’d say jobs):
7. Quality Assurance
6. Data Architecture
5. Application Development
4. Program Management
3. Project Management
2. Healthcare Analytics
1. EMR Build Specialists

They also said, “As JoAnn Klinedinst, HIMSS’ Vice President, Professional Development, noted “There’s something for everyone at HIMSS13.””

JoAnn is absolutely right about HIMSS 2013. If you’re in healthcare IT, then there’s definitely something for you at HIMSS 2013. I describe it like being a kid in a candy store. Everywhere you look there is something interesting that you want to learn about.

I did find the list of hot health IT jobs interesting. Not surprising to see EMR at the top of the list. Seems like all of the jobs are EHR related or healthcare BI/Big Data related. Seems like this should give us a good idea of where healthcare IT is going.

December 21, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Transitioning to Health IT Jobs

I’ve made the transition to health IT relatively recently. In May that I started doing some contract work as tech writer for a health IT vendor, then looked around for health IT related gigs – if there was a business analyst or tech writer posted in the DC/Baltimore area on Craigslist or Monster, you can bet that my resume was in there somewhere. It took me a good two months of searching to land my current job (and after two months of email after email saying “sorry, your resume didn’t make the cut”, I got three job offers in the same week – true story.) This is what I’ve learned along the way:

1) Having health-care related credentials helps: It can be anything – a degree, college coursework, actual paying jobs or volunteer positions you’ve held. In my case, I had a B.S. in pharmacy with a minor in IT, and a masters in Communication, so it seemed as if a health IT tech writer gig would be perfect for me. I believe that adding the “My undergrad major was pharmacy” in my cover letters was the phrase that opened doors for me.

2) Volunteer: I have mixed feelings about this piece of advice. It’s a well known secret that employers want certifications in vendor-specific products in the candidates they shortlist, which makes it something of an impossibility for regular IT folks looking to transfer to health IT.

On the HIMSS blog, there was a really interesting discussion from some time ago on healthcare employers not getting enough trained health IT people. The comment section was really enlightening – a commenter said “I’d like to share a little known secret: many hospital employees, IT included, are hired as a result of volunteer activities at the very same hospital that he or she volunteered at.”

Someone else commented that “An open secret in the NPO world is that they get many person hours donated with the unstated goal of being hired but no person ever actually receives employment. Especially in towns with many colleges and universities, some NPOs glean many free person hours from students and depend on the myth that all NPOs hire this way.”

So in effect: you might get a paid health IT gig after volunteering at a hospital or similar setting, but such NPOs are also the most liable to take advantage of you by dangling the job carrot before you. Also volunteering when you’re a newbie to the workforce might make sense, but I’d really love to see how that might help a mid-career IT person with a few years of experience under her belt, and with mouths to feed at home. I’m not discounting it entirely, but I’d do my research (how many volunteers were actually hired, and so on).

3) Hone up on healthcare concepts skills: HIMSS has a great repository Health IT Body of Knowledge. Read some blogs, follow the #EMR #EHR twitter feeds, or check out the thought leaders on Quora. Figure out which aspect of health IT interests you – is it the mobile apps sector, or EMR product development?

4) Learn from the greats: I really lucked out that I got some great health IT mentors this year who worked with me into turning the raw ingredients of my healthcare knowledge into something semi-cooked. And this is true of any area where you’re a learner – the more you show your enthusiasm for something, the more people are willing to teach you what they know. If there’s someone in your office or friends circle who is a walking encyclopedia of anything health IT, talk to them, and ask for their advice. If you don’t know any such person, make online relationships by commenting on blogs or following conversations on twitter. Read what the greats read, engage them in conversations. Knowledge osmosis will take care of the rest.

November 14, 2011 I Written By

Priya Ramachandran is a Maryland based freelance writer. In a former life, she wrote software code and managed Sarbanes Oxley related audits for IT departments. She now writes about healthcare, science and technology as well as traditional news features.

Epic Jobs and the Challenge of Finding an EHR Job

In response to a post I did about the Noble EHR Profession, I got the following response about the challenge people are facing in finding a job with Epic or even in the EHR community as a whole. Stories like this make my heart break, so I have to share them. If people have ideas or job leadsfor Joan Baird (who wrote the comment below), let me know and I’ll send them on to her.

To provide some perspective…..I am also a recent grad with 2 degrees. One is in Health Information Management, the other is a Master’s in Medical Informatics. The difference is I am not 22 or 25. I applied for the position the woman in the article did. The test that EPIC administers is pretty intense and the subject matter is really only that which a recent (young) college grad would grasp and pass.

My Master’s graduation was in the past year from a reputable school. People at HIMSS said that employers would be “fighting over me”. I do get lots of calls from recruiters and had a fair number of interviews. Unfortunately, everyone wants people that have been through the entire implementation process at least once. How does one get that first position on an EMR team? This is what my degrees have prepared me for, especially the Masters degree. In addition, I serve on a HIMSS task force, attend HIMSS/AHIMA meetings, teach part time at a local college, take ONC workforce development classes etc.

I feel as though I am doing everything I “should” be doing. If you or anyone out there has advice for an educated, analytical, problem solving, high energy person looking to work on an implementation team, please weigh in.

This post also goes really well with the post Jennifer Dennard did on EMR and EHR about the EMR Job Qualification Gap.

September 7, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.