Tag Archives: healthcare it

  • The Challenge of Healthcare IT


    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.

    The post The Challenge of Healthcare IT appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Landing a Healthcare IT Job at J2 Interactive

    shutterstock_Alexander Mak

    J2 Interactive is an award-winning software development and IT consulting firm specializing in customized solutions for hospitals, labs, research institutions and health-information exchanges.

    Headquartered in Charlestown, Mass., and with an office in Windsor, U.K., most of the company’s employees telecommute. As a result, the company recruits nationwide (it currently boasts 75 staffers, 72 of whom work in the IT space).

    Click here to find healthcare IT jobs.

    Lou LaRocca, president and chief executive officer, said the company is always looking for seasoned healthcare IT consultants with expertise in systems integration, application development, and especially health-information exchange.

    “We do most of our work on the InterSystems technology platform (Caché, Ensemble, and HealthShare),” he said. “So experience with those technologies is a huge plus. However, any candidate with a strong background in healthcare integration and health information exchange can be successful here.”

    How to Interpret Its Job Postings and Application Process

    If you don’t understand the buzzwords associated with healthcare IT, e.g., HL7, CCD, IHE, HIE, etc., do not apply.

    Also, J2 Interactive strongly discourages people from calling to ask if their resume has been received. “It’s a waste of time,” opined LaRocca “and it comes across as desperate. Not coincidentally, the best candidates simply don’t do it.”

    Upload Your ResumeEmployers want candidates like you. Upload your resume. Show them you’re awesome.

    The Interview Process

    LaRocca noted that the company’s interview process is “laid back.” While managers try to gauge the candidate’s abilities and experience (which they’ll have an idea about, thanks to a resume and cover letter), they’re also trying to get a sense of the person. “We figure that the first impression you make on a client is going to be pretty similar to the first impression you’re making on the interview” he said. “So just show up and be yourself.”

    What Makes a Good Fit?

    J2 Interactive employees are a team of telecommuters who put their customers first. It’s critical that candidates are able to effectively interact online or via phone, with both fellow team members and customers.

    LaRocca said self-motivated, fast learners who can climb learning curves aggressively and won’t need their hands held while doing so will fit in. “The work is fast paced and the projects are challenging,” he said, “and we insist on maintaining a work environment free of political nonsense and other barriers to getting the job done for our clients.”

    Experienced telecommuters will be able to get on track rapidly; but for those who find this style of work new, success often hinges on having a proper home office environment with limited distractions. If you can’t live without daily in-person interaction with your colleagues, you’ll struggle mightily.

    Finally, talented people who show they are ready to take on responsibility of any kind—whether it’s technical, project leadership, or client relationship management—can create their own significant, professional opportunity. Per LaRocca, management is not afraid to let people step up and take charge when they prove they’re able.

    See more Landing@ stories here.

    Advice for Experienced Professionals

    LaRocca said that the best way for seasoned pros to impress is with a strong resume and cover letter. “Take the time to write something, don’t just throw a resume over the wall,” he stressed. ”We routinely disqualify candidates when their resumes are poorly written, or formatted, or when it’s clear they aren’t putting much effort into their written communications.”

    Advice for New Graduates

    Unfortunately, the company doesn’t hire new graduates. Qualified candidates must be able to come in and be productive on day one. New grads won’t have the experience required for any open positions and, just as important, the nature of telecommuting isn’t conducive to the kind of structure necessary to teach people the ins and outs of this industry.

    Related Articles

    Image: Alexander Mak/Shutterstock.com

    The post Landing a Healthcare IT Job at J2 Interactive appeared first on Dice News.

  • This Is the Secret to Landing a Job at athenahealth

    Health IT vendor athenahealth made news earlier this year when it selected Austin, Texas, as the site of its new R&D hub . The company said it would create 600 jobs there over the next 10 years. However, that’s just one of the locations where athenahealth is hiring in IT. The company will add about 200 tech positions overall this year, according to Technical Recruiting Manager Amber Jackson. She estimates it will bring on more than 100 people in software engineering , 40 to 50 in product innovation and about 20 in user experience . Its hardware group is growing, as well. Overall, the company has about 3,000 employees. Click here to find more software engineering jobs. At its headquarters in Watertown, Mass., athenahealth has a large group in software development , product management and user experience, as well as folks working on hardware and the back end . Its San Mateo, Calif., operation — which will be moving to San Francisco later this year — is focused on software development, particularly for mobile applications. The Austin R&D operation is also about software development, product management and user experience, both design and testing . The company’s cloud platform, athenaNet, supports doctor’s offices and medical groups with billing, clinical records and patient communication tools. Its mobile offerings include Bugs & Drugs, a reference application that allows physicians to look up disease and prescription information. Though traditionally athenahealth has focused on practices, not hospitals, that’s changing with its latest offering, a care-coordination technology called athenaCoordinator Enterprise. Its Approach athenahealth’s user experience group includes both designers and testers. In product innovation, it’s looking for people with a background in software who have an innovative, problem-solving mindset, Jackson says. They might come from different backgrounds, such as computer science , project management or business analysis . In software development, the company likes people who are smart, motivated and passionate about making a difference to an organization. “We are not a company that will check off a laundry list: OK, you have one year in this scripting language or you have X amount of experience with a Linux system. That is not how we assess whether someone is either a technical or cultural fit,” Jackson tells Dice. “We really are looking for that problem-solving, creative thinking mentality with core skills and experience in software development and computer science as a whole rather than specific languages or systems.” How to Read a Job Posting The company’s technology job postings tend to be general. “You’re not going to find a posting that says, ‘this position will work on this product and this is the goal of this team. This is what you’ll do on day one,’” Jackson explains. “We intentionally write our job listings to be fairly high level – to describe the organization, to describe what it means to be a software developer, a product innovator … because athena is the type of company that is constantly changing and doing different things, constantly innovating.” Indeed, flexibility is key. “We are looking for people who, in addition to having core skills, want to come into an organization that is constantly changing and they may be tapped on the shoulder and told, ‘Hey, we’ve got this new project and you and your team members will be moved onto this project.’ We need people to be flexible and OK with that.” See more Landing@ stories here. Advice for Experienced Professionals athena is looking for candidates who have demonstrated the ability to take on more complex projects throughout their career. If you’ve been asked to take the lead on new efforts or have been promoted regularly, you may be the kind of person it’s looking for. “In some companies, promotion is not really available,” Jackson observes. “In that case, demonstrate that, even if you were staying in the same job, you were taking on more complex projects, you were doing more interesting things that you sought out .” Also, be clear about why the position at athena is the logical next step for you. “If you’re employed and you’re looking to leave your current role, you should have a compelling reason why,” she says. Related Stories athenahealth to Add 600 Jobs in Austin Fastest Growing Tech Firms Focus on Enterprise Tech Jobs: athenahealth, GoDaddy, Tripobox The post This Is the Secret to Landing a Job at athenahealth appeared first on Dice News .

  • athenahealth to Add 600 Jobs in Austin

    Medical technology services provider athenahealth plans to expand into Austin, Texas, after state and local officials dangled a $5.5 million incentive package in front of it. The company says the move is part of a national growth strategy aimed at improving service for clients throughout the healthcare industry. Over the next 10 years, it will add some 600 software development and R&D jobs in Austin, and spend approximately $13 million to redevelop a 110,000-square-foot space in the city’s downtown. “Austin offers athenahealth everything it could ask for in a city,” said Leslie Brunner, the company’s senior vice president of people and process, in a statement. “It’s among the top tech hubs in the country, provides an unrivaled culture of innovation and creativity, and is home to some of the best talent that healthcare and technology have to offer.” The company will have a presence at this year’s SXSW, with representatives hosting product demonstrations in Mashery’s Circus Mashimus lounge in the convention center March 7 through March 11. Also, Abbe Don, vice president of user experience at athenahealth mobile service Epocrates, will host a discussion on “Healing Healthcare with UX Design.” That will take place Sunday, March 9, at 5 p.m. at the Hilton Austin. The Texas incentive package requires athenahealth to hire 35 people by the end of this year, employ 100 by the end of 2016 and add a total of 607 by the end of 2023. athenahealth would also have to make a local capital investment of $7.75 million by the end of 2023. The new jobs will reportedly pay an average of $132,085 a year, with a minimum for all employees of $11 an hour, according to documents filed with the city. athenahealth is hiring in other locations, as well. It’s announced plans to add 1,900 new jobs over the next 10 years in Boston, and previously said it would invest up to $10 million in Atlanta , moving operations from nearby Alpharetta and adding up to 500 jobs there. The post athenahealth to Add 600 Jobs in Austin appeared first on Dice News .

  • Why More IT Pros Say ‘No Thanks’ to Becoming CIO

    Want to be a CIO? You’re in the minority. Long hours, lack of prestige and company politics have more IT pros saying they don’t aspire to become CIO , according to a Computerworld survey. Only 32 percent of the 489 IT professionals polled say they are still gunning for the CIO title, while 55 percent say “no thanks.” “Being a CIO doesn’t offer the opportunity to do the cool stuff that IT people like so much to do. It’s about meetings and budgets and politics,” says Stephanie Jurenka, an IT manager at Westway Group, a bulk liquid storage company in New Orleans. Respondents cited a number of reasons their aspirations lie elsewhere: Preference for more of a hands-on role. Title carries a lot of responsibility, but little power or authority. Hours required preclude work/life balance. Relatively low pay. In healthcare, in particular, CIOs face unforgiving deadlines to meet federal mandates, though compensation has not grown in accordance to the workload , according to a survey from St. Petersburg, Fla.-based healthcare recruiting firm SSi-Search. In its poll of 178 healthcare CIOs, 44 percent of respondents say that their duties increased between 25 to 50 percent over the past four years, while 23 percent say their workload jumped 50 to 75 percent. At the same time, nearly 40 percent say their compensation has risen by 10 percent or less during the same time period. Although tech pros prefer hands-on roles, those jobs increasingly are being farmed out to third-party service providers, the Computerworld story notes. At the same time, however, IT pros are finding themselves working in marketing, logistics and other functions outside of IT as technology becomes more deeply embedded in every aspect of the business. “Information and technology are lifeblood for companies: No single department owns them,” says Diane Morello, an analyst at Gartner . These hybrid roles call for a mix of IT and business acumen and by some accounts are growing more rapidly than pure tech roles. The post Why More IT Pros Say ‘No Thanks’ to Becoming CIO appeared first on Dice News .