Do Credentials Count Too Much in Health IT?

Susan Hall
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Health Care IT Still Needs Critical Care

Despite focusing on compliance and security issues, progress to date has been somewhat limited.

Though the federal government has been investing heavily in training for its push for electronic medical records, the big bucks still come with experience, something career switchers don't have.


In a previous post, I quoted Eric Marx, vice president of health care IT at staffing firm Modis, saying:

There's not a huge difference between coming out as a fresh college graduate and getting retrained in health care IT. After a year of experience, you'll be in good shape and then other hospitals and providers will be looking for you. But initially, that first step is the most difficult.

In a post at Health Data Management, Rob Tholemeier, a research analyst for Crosstree Capital Management in Tampa, Fla., writes that the health care industry is too fixated on degrees and credentials - they like to put all those letters after their names: MD, PhD, RN, FACP, etc. IT pros don't. He says the best IT pros are great listeners and problem-solvers - and not necessarily ones with experience with a specific software. He goes on to list some questions interviewers should be asking.


In a separate post, readers weigh in. They agree that with the challenges health care organizations face, they most likely will have to look to IT pros from other sectors to meet their talent needs and the economic climate is increasing companies' reticence in hiring. But this comment seems to sum it all up:

... collaboration and information sharing across the team [are] essential to successful implementations. It is the intimate understanding of the workflows in which technology is used, the needs of users, the other technologies that are needed in concert with strong technical knowledge, project management skills, etc. Finding ways for folks with this subject matter expertise to work and support the work of those with strong technical experience will make us all successful.

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