Salaries within the health IT industry are up seven percent from last year as the need for more advanced technology becomes increasingly vital, according to HealthITJobs.com’s 2016 Health IT Salary and Report. The average health IT employee makes approximately $93,000, with an annual bonus of $7,603, the report found. But while about half of the […]
The winners of the 2016 Best Hospital IT Departments are clearly doing something right. At all of the top 20 shops – whether tiny five-person teams at rural providers or sprawling, hundreds-deep health systems support squads – these health IT teams expressed deep satisfaction with the jobs they do. So how do chief information officers […]
A partnership with caregivers helps the North Carolina health system advance strategy. Best Hospital IT 2016: #5 Super Hospital Mission Health System, North Carolina IT Staff: 181 Overall Score: 59.88% “IT in healthcare is transforming quickly from a back office function or service, to being part of the health system’s strategy,” said Jon Brown, CIO […]
Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health in Merger Talks Tie-up of hospital operators would create one of the nation’s largest nonprofit hospital systems by revenue Hospital operator Catholic Health Initiatives, which has struggled after rapid expansion and a foray into health insurance, is in merger talks with Dignity Health to create one of the nation’s largest […]
About 12 years ago, I visited San Francisco with my boyfriend. One day we decided to ride bikes across the Golden Gate bridge. That bridge is huge, the water underneath it is cold and choppy. The whole image of the bridge inspires awe and can be intimidating too. Plus, it was very windy and chilly […]
Organizations are facing challenges to support outcome based medicine initiatives while simultaneously trying to cope with “the information generation” that wants healthcare at the speed of now. Healthcare IT must transform either through evolution or innovation to help meet their organizational business imperatives, expectations of their patients and drive insight to improve the quality and efficiency of care delivery.
Podcast Exerpt: Join Deanna Wise, PMP, executive vice president and chief information office at Dignity Health, formerly Catholic Healthcare West in San Francisco. As executive vice president and CIO, Wise oversees all of Dignity Health’s information technology functions with a focus on the 40-hospital system’s electronic medical records. Deanna has been in the information technology […]
Whether you’re a programmer, Big Data analyst, or cybersecurity expert, your employer expects you to have the skills necessary to do your job. That means tech professionals must spend a lot of money in order to secure the schooling and certifications they need. And that can become an expensive proposition.
In many industries, companies will pay for employee training. In tech, however, that’s not always the case, and that can frustrate those professionals who feel they must constantly evolve in order to prove useful to the business.
According to Bob Hadick, president of Russ Hadick & Associates, a professional search and recruiting firm, tech employers expect their employees to live and breathe the job: “We find it easier to sell the guy or gal who shows a passion for the job by pursuing training on his or her own.”
Tech employers consider positions such as developer or software architect as more than a mere title. “It’s an identity,” Hadick added. With that in mind, companies often look for employees who are intellectually curious, not to mention willing to work on tech-related projects on their own time.
According to Carlos Pimenta, CEO of Macquarium, a digital experience design and marketing agency, the nature of the tech profession demands constant education on the part of workers. “A programming language is similar to a spoken language,” he said. “You can quickly learn enough to get by, but it takes a while to master.”
Given how building systems that drive business operations is a complex and expensive process, it’s often easier and quicker for companies to find the people with the necessary skills, rather than train the ones they have. “If you don’t have in-house experience in that version of the programming language, you will typically work with proven partners to satisfy the client need,” Pimenta said.
But you can still convince your employer to pay for training and certifications—provided you figure out the best way to spin the idea. Here’s how to broach the subject and sell it to your boss:
Realize the Value of Training
Before you bother to ask, make sure the training is something that your employer considers a relevant skill for the job. While companies want people who can do their job well, don’t try to pitch a certification that isn’t relevant to the job you currently perform or can’t help you get better at what you do, Hadick said.
Argue for Training the Whole Team
It might be easier to sell your boss on training the entire software development group and not just you, Hadick added. Suggest that training the team can impact the bottom line on the project or help move up the time to deployment. Pitch it in terms they can understand, but consider the time investment, too.
Help Your Manager Justify the Expense
Help your manager make the business case for training or certifications. Explain how the training will make an impact by filling a gap in a department need. If your employer is having a hard time recruiting the right people with the right skills, he or she might be more amenable to training current staff. Pimenta thinks the company’s decision will not only be influenced by business need, but also by the cost, timing, and ROI.
Alleviate Your Employer’s Fear That You’re Jumping Ship
Your boss may think you’re amping up your skills in order to find a new job. According to Hadick, it’s best to explain to your employer how a new training program or certification is specifically relevant to what you do and how it will improve your performance.
Do Your Homework Before Accepting a Job Offer
Corporate culture can be hard to change, and that includes getting an employer to pay for certifications when they aren’t accustomed to doing so. While tech companies that routinely pay for training are still relatively rare, there are tech employers out there who know its value. It pays to ask around and network with your tech friends to find out which organizations will pay for courses.
When you’re interviewing for a position, don’t forget to ask about the company’s training initiatives. Pitch it to the potential employer as a potential perk of the job.
Widespread Health IT adoption over the past decade is transforming the way healthcare organizations and clinicians deliver care. Countless technologies exist, both for the healthcare organization as well as the consumer, to help patients and providers monitor and manage health information.
In another big surge for healthcare hiring, the industry added 44,000 jobs in April — representing more than a quarter of the 160,000 jobs created that month, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Interested in working for a healthcare IT startup? While the potential rewards are vast, so are the challenges.
“In healthcare, many great ideas falter because of technology—or more specifically, the difficulty in integrating to legacy systems,” John Sung Kim, founder of Five9 and DoctorBase, wrote in a new TechCrunch column. “Whether you’re selling to a small doctor’s office or a large hospital, healthcare organizations of any size are juggling multiple software systems, many of which do not speak to each other.”
Although many experts blame the woes of the healthcare IT industry on a lack of integration between healthcare databases and software platforms, there’s also the issue of regulations. Every app that interacts with patient data needs to follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects health data both in movement between databases and at rest. Hospitals and other entities that handle such data must ensure that they can maintain necessary privacy and security standards.
According to Kim, startups in healthcare IT face entrenched competition from Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors, whose executives have no desire to find their business “disrupted” by some tiny company with an innovative new platform.
Whether working for a tiny startup or a massive vendor, tech pros interested in the healthcare IT field need to familiarize themselves with not only the basic building blocks of any software platform—programming languages such as C# and Python, and management methods including Agile—but also the sort of creative thinking that allows people to solve thorny problems.
That being said, much of the software employed in healthcare is complex and unique to the industry, making it hard for tech pros to get a handle on much of it until they have a number of years of experience under their belts. Health Level 7 (a framework and standards for retrieving electronic health data) and DICON (an imaging program) are just two of the platforms that workers will need to get familiar with.
But given the importance of data protection, perhaps the most important skill to learn is everything HIPAA-related. Whatever the nature of your startup, there’s nothing more important than ensuring patient data is shielded.