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How To Build Your Team Now So You Can Play (Not Pay) Later

August 20, 2009
by Gwen Darling
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Last week, I uploaded a blog post entitled, “When Looking for Healthcare IT Talent, How Creative Are You Willing To Be?” In case you missed it, the basic premise was that at the present time, there are not enough properly trained and educated Americans to fill the Healthcare IT jobs that are projected to materialize in the next several years. I posed the question in the title of the blog post, and offered a few examples of creative approaches to the upcoming employment demands. Shortly after uploading the post, Healthcare Informatics’ Editor-in-Chief Anthony Guerra added his insightful comments in the form of a CIO call to action, which outlined just the type of creative thinking I was hoping would come out of the post. Just as I was getting ready to respond, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The following job description was posted by Parker HealthcareIT on


Epic Inpatient Trainer Need - Come get certified!
We are currently recruiting for two Epic Inpatient Trainer positions for a hospital in New York City. The Clinical Documentation (ClinDoc) and CPOE Trainer will each support the hospital’s clinical systems implementation.

Not Epic certified? That’s okay; our client will certify the selected candidate within a year! Our client also offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and career development opportunities.

• Create lesson plans and training materials
• Provide classroom training to hospital staff (nurses, doctors, technicians, etc.) on Epic
• Collaborate with analysts during system optimization

• Requires previous Epic classroom training experience
• Bachelor’s degree
• Requires relocation to New York
I was very excited to see this opportunity, for this is exactly the kind of creative, flexible, realistic approach to tackling the upcoming technology professional shortage that needs to be emulated! But so far, from where I’m sitting, this hospital seems to be in the minority, for many of the recruiters I speak to tell me that their hospital clients insist on a 100% match for their job descriptions, and wait weeks and sometimes months to find the “perfect candidate.” Sure, ideally, all new employees would be contributing, brilliant, productive assets from Day One, and the costs and headaches of training and developing new team members would not be an issue. Unfortunately, though, as the demand for Healthcare IT professionals increases, the dream of an “out of the box” perfect candidate is just not going to be realistic for long.

As I write this post, I’m reminded of one of my favorite movies of all time, “Rudy.” I’m guessing you’ve seen it, but if not, the movie is an

account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles, and "second string" status. Here’s the pivotal scene:



The thing is, like Rudy, your superstar candidates are out there – they just need to be given a shot (no pun intended). If I had a dollar for every motivated, well-educated, polished, polite, potentially-fantastic-with-extra-training IT professional who writes to tell me they are willing to do just about anything to get their foot in your hospital’s door, well… I’d be floating on a raft with a drink holder, signaling the cabana boy for . . . something or other, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But since neither of us live in a perfect world, here’s something to think about: As the government is scrambling to dot their “i’s” and cross their “t’s” and the few truly 100% qualified “perfect” Healthcare IT professionals are being snapped up despite ransom-like demands, savvy hospitals like the one in NYC with the Epic needs are positioning themselves for the future by actively seeking out the best of the so-called “second string” and investing now in their development to build a solid, cohesive, loyal because of the opportunity, qualified team so that they don’t have to pay later. Dearly. RUDY! RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!

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