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Posted on April 13, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today I happened to meet with someone who was working a Las Vegas job fair. It was convenient for me to stop by while he was there, so I did so we could talk business. I’ll be honest that it bothered me a little bit personally to see the hundreds of people standing in line waiting to enter the job fair. Sure I’d seen and heard the reports of the 5000 people who showed up for 750 jobs. Although, it’s quite a different thing to see it first hand. Thankfully, I had my business discussion and left before I had to hear the hard stories that I’m sure many of them could share. Then again, I’m sure I would have also seen some amazing optimism and excitement from those looking to land a job to change their life.

On my drive home, I couldn’t help but think about the healthcare IT job situation. We’ve often written about the shortage of qualified healthcare IT & EHR talent to be able to service the onslaught of EHR software that we are seeing right now. Even for EHR vendors it’s a bit of a dog fight to get the very best people to work for them. Yet, I’ve also heard on EMR Thoughts from far too many healthcare IT certificate program students that can’t find a job. I’m not going to lie to say it makes my heart break. I do what I can and refer them to people I know who help with this stuff for a living, but it’s hard.

I think Jennifer Dennard must feel very similar to me since she’s written on the healthcare IT Worforce development and social media resources for healthcare IT job seekers to just name a few of her posts on the subject. It’s just a hard contrast for me to see hospitals and other healthcare related companies that can’t find qualified people and so many people still without jobs.

I’m not sure how many people know that I have an EMR and EHR job board. It’s not a real big thing, but it has a ton of different EMR, EHR, HIPAA, and Healthcare IT related jobs posted there. Here are a few that were posted specifically for the EMR and EHR community:
EMR Software Programmer
Director, HIPAA Compliance
Ambulatory EMR Server Administrator

The jobs listed above appear in the sidebar of many of the Healthcare Scene websites. Hopefully this is one small way to help both EHR and Healthcare companies find qualified talent and help those searching for a job in healthcare IT learn more about the needs and open jobs.

HIM Professionals Focus on Job Creation, ICD-10 at AHIMA

Posted on October 5, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

A number of themes have been prevalent at this year’s AHIMA show, taking place this week in Salt Lake City. Healthcare information management professionals have a number of big priorities – the transition to ICD-10 being the most prevalent, at least from what I’ve seen on the show floor so far. Recruitment is a close second. With a number of colleges and healthcare systems present as exhibitors, it’s obvious there is a need for trained HIM professionals. In speaking with folks from the Region D Health IT Workforce Development Program, part of the Community College Consortia Program, which hopes to train more than 10,500 healthcare IT professionals by the end of this year, it is evident that there are resources out there to train folks, and they are willing to get the word out about it.

AHIMA has recognized this need for job creation. It announced at the show on Monday that it has created the HIM Jobs for America Initiative, and has entered into a public-private partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and North Shore Medical Labs.

In announcing the initiative, Bill Rudman, vice president, educational visioning at AHIMA and executive director of the AHIMA Foundation, explained that “AHIMA wants to build a partnership with business, academia and the federal government to create the estimated 40,000 jobs required to properly build and maintain a national electronic health records initiative.”

As part of the initiative, AHIMA will provide six hours of free healthcare IT training to healthcare professionals in underserved communities, first focusing on physicians in small practices in North Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama. The program will provide 100 participants with EHR licenses for one year. North Shore will donate electronic health record software and services via Nortec Software, a provider of EHR technology, as well as medical billing and transcription services.

As I mentioned above, the transition to IDC-10 has been THE big theme in the exhibit hall. I’ve noticed solution after solution exhibited at booth after booth created to help physicians make the transition. As John Lynn mentioned in an earlier post, some companies are taking a light-hearted approach in marketing their ICD-10 solutions. Take QuadraMed, for example, which kept attendees happy Sunday night during the evening reception with special ICD-9 and ICD-10 cocktails. Or, as John mentioned last week, Conifer Health, which has quickly run out of its ICD-10 stickers.

All kidding aside, the transition to ICD-10 and the impact the new codes will have on patient care is no joke. Paula Lawlor, RHIA, President of Clinical Revenue Cycle Services HIM at Conifer, spoke with me briefly about what Conifer is doing in the area health information management and clinical revenue cycle services:

I’ll be walking the show floor today, and hope to have a wrap-up of EMR-related technologies for next week’s post.

Bridging the EMR Job Qualification Gap

Posted on September 7, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I came across an article the other day about “10 of Today’s Hottest Jobs” and was not surprised to learn that five of the cited 10 had something to do with healthcare or IT. We’ve all been told time and again that healthcare reform and its incentivized plans for IT implementations will lead to a greater demand for healthcare information management and IT positions, including the much-coveted EMR implementation specialist. But as we’ve all realized, just because industry demand for these types of positions has risen, that doesn’t mean they are being filled quickly – or at all. The same article alludes to what is happening in the healthcare IT job space right now:Believe it or not, even with the unemployment rate stubbornly high and many industries reluctant to staff up, there are employers out there who still can’t find enough qualified applicants.”

And there’s the rub. Many healthcare vendors and consulting firms, particularly those involved in healthcare IT implementations, are looking for “qualified applicants,” and completely overlooking the enormous pool of talent that newly graduated job seekers have to offer. This certainly isn’t a new observation, but as America – whose citizens are experiencing unemployment at record levels – sits down tomorrow night to watch President Obama address the nation’s employment situation in front of Congress, it certainly is a timely one.

Let’s take a look at two videos that highlight the employment disconnect between higher education in healthcare IT, and the types of firms that would seem to be hiring new graduates.

In the first, Kelly Patterson from Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, chats with a local news station about the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Community College Consortia Program, which trains individuals in healthcare IT workforce roles, including EMR implementation.

In the second, employees at Cerner Corp. chat about how happy they are to work at the company, and list many benefits of being a Cerner employee. Most are young – many could be recent college graduates – and seem enthusiastic about their careers.

So if national training programs abound, and vendors seem eager to hire fresh talent, where is the disconnect? Why do statements like the one below seem like a dime a dozen these days?

“Training and certification do not seem to be enough. As in all new fields, experience comes from experience.” – Nachum Greenspan via LinkedIn

EJ Fechenda at HIMSS JobMine gave her two cents on how to bridge this employment gap in a recent blog: “With federal deadlines looming, healthcare organizations need to get moving and there are a lot of job seekers out there ready for the challenge. Are there organizations or companies willing to extend opportunities to these candidates? Is there a training or job-shadowing program that can be used as a best practice for other organizations to implement? Who are the champions already doing this or willing to lead the charge?”

I’d love to hear from any recent healthcare IT graduates who have been hired recently and have an employer willing to help train and mentor them. It takes champions, of course, but every champion needs someone to fight for.