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Study Says Thousands More HIT Pros Needed

April 21, 2008
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A 40 percent hike in IT workforce will be needed to move United States healthcare toward a paperless system, according to a new study by Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).

According to the report, “Characterizing the Health Information Technology Workforce: Analysis from the HIMSS Analytics Database,” if the U.S. healthcare system moves toward wider adoption of advanced information technology systems to control healthcare costs, reduce medical errors and improve patient care, it will need at least 40,000 additional health IT professionals — or almost 40 percent more than U.S. hospitals now are estimated to employ.

The report was based on an analysis of the HIMSS Analytics Database, and was presented at a Capitol Hill meeting of the Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics, by William Hersh, M.D., professor and chair of the department of medical informatics & clinical epidemiology at OHSU.

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