More Focus Needed on HIE Staffing, Report Says | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

More Focus Needed on HIE Staffing, Report Says

February 12, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

According to a new study from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), when it comes to health information exchanges (HIEs), significant focus is placed on governance, but little attention is placed on the staffing of Health Information Exchange Organizations or Networks (HIOs).

For this study, HIMSS and AHIMA established a joint workgroup to explore both current and planned HIE staffing models with the goal of providing a clear understanding of the professional skill sets and experience critical to HIE organizational success.  Representatives from 35 HIE organizations, encompassing a wide range of sizes, locations, funding strategies and stages of implementation, responded to a detailed survey on their operational strategies, current staffing profiles and anticipated hiring needs.

Survey participants included organizations that have been operational since as early as 1994, with slightly more than half self-identified as state-designated entities (SDE). The significant majority of participants used not-for-profit governance structures and planned to use subscription and membership fees as part of their sustainability strategy. Primary care, inpatient, outpatient, emergency department (ED) and specialty care services were identified as the top types of organizations sharing information through an HIO.

According to the study, the great majority (86 percent) of those surveyed had a staff of 25 people or less, while only a few (nine percent) were significantly larger with staff size of 51 or more people. Technology positions (41 percent) dominated current staffing as reported by the survey participants, with operations positions (34 percent) close behind. Overall, the organizations surveyed were planning very little hiring at the time of the survey.

 “Deployment and effective use of information technology is complex, challenging work requiring skilled staff," Carla Smith, executive vice president, HIMSS, said in a statement. "This study provides unique insight into the world of HIE organizations, focused on skill sets and experiences required for today’s and future expectations. This first study also sets a benchmark for additional workforce studies in this critical area.”

Topics

News

CMS Exploring Potential Behavioral Health Payment and Care Delivery Model

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to hold a one-day summit in September to solicit feedback and ideas for a potential behavioral health model to improve access, quality and cost of care for beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions.

MEDITECH to Soon Offer CommonWell Health Alliance Services to Customers

MEDITECH, a Westwood, Mass.-based electronic health record (EHR) vendor, has announced that it is set to offer CommonWell interoperability services early next year.

HITRUST CSF Certification Now Includes NIST Cybersecurity Certification

HITRUST has announced that HITRUST cybersecurity framework (CSF) version 9 enhancements now extend an “assess once, report many” approach as a standard security framework for multiple critical infrastructure industries and includes National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity certification.

Premier: Analytics Helping Hospitals Optimize Blood Use

An analysis of 645 hospitals revealed that comparative data analytics to drive performance improvement has the potential to optimize blood use across numerous diagnoses.

Almost 80 Percent of Clinicians Still Use Hospital-Issued Pagers

A study examining the communication technologies used by hospital-based clinicians found that close to 80 percent (79.8 percent) of clinicians continue to use hospital-provided pagers and 49 percent of those clinicians report they receive patient care-related messages most commonly by pager.

Survey: IT Expenses per Physician Continue to Rise to Nearly $19,000

Information technology (IT) expenses for physician practices are on a slow and steady rise for most practices, and last year, physician-owned practices spent between nearly $2,000 to $4,000 more per FTE physician on IT operating expenses than they did the prior year, according to a recent Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey.