Spurred by the government incentives for Meaningful Use of electronic health records, healthcare organizations are spending more on health IT and are hiring more IT professionals, according to a survey by Computer Economics. Sixty-one percent of healthcare firms included in the survey said they were adding IT staff in 2011, reported eWeek. Only 17 percent said they were cutting staff.
The health IT numbers form a bright spot in the overall picture for information technology, the report said. The number of health IT workers rose 3.6 percent in the past year, while IT employment across all industries has remained flat. Similarly, health IT operational budgets have grown by 3.1 percent in the past year, compared to only 2 percent for the IT sector as a whole.
The report, entitled "IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2011/2012," was based on interviews with 200 IT executives in the U.S. and Canada. Just 26 of those executives worked in health care organizations, including hospitals, pathology labs, nursing homes and medical practice groups.
Since 2009, the number of health IT workers has risen 67 percent, an article in Computerworld recently reported. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the number of health IT positions would grow 20 percent annually through 2018.