Massachusetts has received $24 million in federal stimulus funds to support health IT initiatives throughout the state. It's money that can be used to help create jobs, and many in the Bay state have high expectations. What skill sets will be in demand as the dollars trickle down to hospitals and other healthcare facilities? Here's what a few CEOs, presidents and consultants highlighted during the recent Health Information Technology conference:
  1. Healthcare ITHoward Messing, CEO and president of Meditech, says there are three types of people he'll be hiring for his business, which provides software to hospitals: programmers, healthcare specialists and those who can educate others about healthcare. Why healthcare education specialists? "Healthcare workers still don't have IT integrated into their curriculum," says Messing.
  2. The biggest hurdle in healthcare at the moment, says Girish Kumar Navani, CEO of eClinicalWorks, is the need for software development and innovation. He'd like to hire a good 500 people in the next two years. The three types of professionals he'll be looking for: programmers, trainers and business analysts.
  3. Bradley J. Waugh, president and CEO of NaviNet expects his company (which currently employs 250 people) to double in size in the next two years. He's looking for Microsoft .NET certified engineers.
Others echoed the need for software developers, along with systems architects, IT consultants, project managers and business analysts. One attendee, who requested anonymity, stressed the need for those who can program and do systems installation, typically a difficult combination to find since many programmers don't want to install systems. Bottom line, healthcare IT is going to face the same problems that many organizations in other verticals continue to face: finding good IT professionals who can communicate well with the clinical side of the business. -- Sonia R. Lelii