How new health IT employees can adapt to an industry in flux

The old maxim about the only constant being change holds true in health IT careers, according to an article at Tech.Co.

Speaking with baby boomer technology experts, author Tim Cannon, vice president of product management and marketing at HealthITJobs.com, examined what new IT workers in healthcare should know.

Healthcare administrator and author Christina Thielst noted that while health IT is a fast-paced field, so much change can lead to instability.

"However, if you are up for a wild ride and willing to be flexible there will be tremendous opportunities in health IT," she said.

The rapid change within the industry can be unsettling to IT pros, Cannon noted, saying that IT workers must constantly learn and expand their areas of knowledge.

"Just knowing IT is not enough," said Peter Gilbert, application development manager at Meridian Health Plan. "You need to know the business that you support to make effective use of technology. It is not all about technology. It is about using technology to do good things."

Gilbert also urged IT pros to find and follow their passion. However, that could be difficult for young recruits, who would like to work on innovating with bleeding edge technology. Hospital CIOs spend little of their time innovating, according to a 2014 College of Healthcare Information Management Executives poll. "Healthcare has been in the slow lane for years and it's time for us to catch up," Gretchen Tegethoff, a member of CHIME's board of trustees, said of the finding.

A Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society workforce survey found IT hiring "consistent," though 35 percent of respondents reported putting IT initiatives on hold because of lack of qualified staff.

That might indicate a shortage of available talent--healthcare organizations prize experience in healthcare above all--or that the organization isn't providing the resources to compete for IT talent, as a recent article at CIO.com pointed out.

To learn more:
- read the Tech.Co article
- here's the CIO report

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