Survey: Health informatics professionals confident in state of the industry

Most health informatics professionals responding to a recent survey say they are confident in the stability of the field and their own careers.

The survey, conducted by Bisk Education and USF Health's Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida, and written in conjunction with HIMSS, included responses from 404 individuals with 303 unique job titles. Eighty-four percent (337) of respondents said they see potential growth opportunities in their careers over the next five years.

Researchers found a correlation between increased job satisfaction and higher levels of education, with most respondents who indicated that they had advanced degrees (89) describing themselves as "very satisfied" in their jobs. Overall, roughly 260 respondents said they either were "very" or "somewhat" satisfied in their line of work.

Most respondents (roughly 70) indicated they earned an annual salary of at least $130,000; about 50 respondents said they earned between $61,000 and $170,000.

According to HIMSS' 2015 compensation survey, men working in healthcare technology make roughly $26,000 more than women, with the average salary for HIT professionals at $111,000. For that survey, HIMSS queried 1,900 professionals in the industry, including but not limited to individuals from consulting firms, healthcare systems, hardware companies and accountable care organizations.

The earlier survey found that the average salary for a male employee is $126,262; for females, it's $100,762.

A story published last summer in the Financial Times detailed the evolution of healthcare workforces, which increasingly need employees who are tech-savvy. For example, it noted that health leaders need to keep up with mobile apps, wearables, sensors, data analytics and wireless medical devices.

In an interview with FierceHealthIT published last fall, Jim Utterback, a principle with executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, said he sees health IT executives becoming true business partners.

"Whereas IT directors I knew in healthcare in the past were in the basement playing with technology tools, the CIO of today in most major healthcare systems can run calculators and capital and financial budgets as easily as they can select EHR vendors," Utterback said.

To learn more:
- here's the survey
- check out the accompanying infographic