The 5 Most in Demand Health IT Skills This Year

February 4, 2015

11:00 am

Healthcare IT recruiters are on the hunt for highly skilled talent. As technology and healthcare advance, employers need professionals with a blend of complicated skills. The need is large and the talent pool is shallow.

How do you become the highly sought-after health IT candidate that employers want? General IT skills are a start, but complex skills are needed to gain the attention of recruiters.

The following skills are bound to be the most needed in 2015. Focus on these skills to land a new job this year:

Programming and Application Development Skills

In a survey of IT executives conducted by Computerworld, programming skills were the highest ranked skill needed by IT executives. In 2015, 48 percent of survey respondents plan to hire candidates who are strong in this area. These skills will be especially important in the health IT space.

As EHRs evolve, more IT professionals will be needed to develop complex systems. And EHRs are just the beginning. As more patients receive care under the Affordable Care Act, more data will need to be managed. Initiatives of Obamacare will also drive change, impacting the way care is delivered and health is managed. As these changes take hold, new sophisticated tools will be needed to maintain and analyze health data.

Improve or expand your programming knowledge and gain as much experience as you can to maximize your chances of landing a new position in 2015.

Project Management Expertise

The Computerworld survey found that 35 percent of IT executives are looking to hire employees with project management skills this year.

The key to project management in health IT is a strong understanding of business, technology, and healthcare. As more hospitals and health systems make the switch to EHRs, knowledgeable project managers will be needed to oversee large projects and to provide support during the transition to new systems.

Brush up on your business skills to be considered for project management positions. Understand the current trends impacting healthcare and get to know the needs and concerns of hospitals, health systems, and healthcare professionals. Take additional classes or complete certifications in project management. Demonstrate your strong knowledge base to employers and show you’re the candidate they’ve been searching for.

Security Intelligence

Security is a hot button issue for IT right now. After large corporations such as Target, Home Depot, and eBay suffered data breaches in 2014, privacy concerns are heightened. Companies are spending more money to protect their data and prevent hefty fines, and hiring more tech talent to beef up security. In 2013, 2,500 job postings for information security analysts were open in New York City alone.

Security is an even bigger concern in healthcare IT. Protecting patient information and following HIPPA regulations are a top priority. Specialize in security and acquire these sought-after skills from extra education and training.

Mobile and Cloud Management Know-How

Although the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt cloud-based systems, the cloud is coming. To keep up with patient data and new ways of patient management, cloud-based

Systems and mobile strategies will need to be developed and adopted, slowly but surely. IT professionals with a mix of EHR, cloud system, and mobile management knowledge will be in high demand.

To appeal to employers, hone your skills in managing these technologies and watch for emerging trends of their use in healthcare.

Professional Proficiency

Healthcare IT professionals must straddle three areas of expertise: IT, healthcare, and customer service and support. Healthcare IT employers need workers with a healthy mix of tech and more traditional professional skills to interact with those in the healthcare field. Communication skills are key to interact with both tech teams and healthcare professionals to deliver services and troubleshoot problems.

In a constantly changing field, employers are also looking for professionals who look ahead. As technology continues to advance rapidly and healthcare transforms, firms will need employees who can easily adapt to new responsibilities and technology.

Although tech skills are key, improve on basic professional skills to increase your value to recruiters.

What skills do you think will the most important to health IT employers in 2015?

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Tim Cannon the vice president of product management and marketing at HealthITJobs.com, a free job search resource that provides health IT professionals access to nearly 2,000 industry health IT jobs at home or on the go. Connect with Tim and HealthITJobs.com on LinkedIn.

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