Close examination of the figures from last month reveal that this positive growth has been months in the making. There are specific industries outside of retail and hospitality that have seen a continuous rise in employment opportunities. The number of available healthcare and related industry positions rose significantly once again in November, with 17,000 new jobs produced in the medical field alone. These developments have resulted in an average of 27,000 new jobs being added every month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 12/2/2011).
“The statistics over the past few months have been more than encouraging. They are a real light at the end of the tunnel. Various industries are beginning to regroup; making adjustments to fit an evolving market. That’s not inconsistent with what we know to happen historically after major structural shifts in the economy. What we’re seeing, and what we hope we’ll continue to see, are new employment markets opening up where these new industries are being formed. Health IT is a perfect example of this. Here you have two, previously separate industries that are rapidly growing into one another. Where the two meet you have an opportunity to explore a completely new labor pool,” says Del Johnston, Manager of Client Relations at MedZilla.com, a leader in healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotech employment information on the internet.
Late last month White House officials confirmed the creation of specific interventions which would assist professionals in implementing health IT throughout the nation’s medical facilities; improving health care and creating new jobs across the country. More than 50,000 healthcare IT-related jobs have been created since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) went into effect. BLS reports indicate that the number of health IT jobs is expected to rise by twenty percent between 2008 and 2018; an increase which will exceed the average for all occupations through 2018.
This has already had a profound impact on employment in the health sector. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released findings at the end of last month which confirmed that physicians’ adoption of health information technology (HIT) doubled in just the past two years. (hhs.gov, 11/30/2011)
“When doctors and hospitals use health information technology (health IT), patients get better care and we can all save money. This results in less paperwork for billing, medical records, and prescribing; easier coordination of care among doctors, nurses, and pharmacists in hospitals and outpatient settings; and better reporting on quality of care,” said Nancy-Ann DeParle, Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff (healthit.gov, 11/30/2011)
Sebelius also stated the HHS’s intent to ease the transition for medical personnel to the new EMR/EHR requirements. Previously, facilities opting into the Medical EHR Incentive Programs before the end of 2011 would face penalties if certain compliance criteria are not met by 2013. Those postponing participation until 2012 would be able to delay meeting those requirements until 2014, while maintaining their eligibility for the incentive payments. However, to speed the implementation, HHS announced that they are now allowing participants to receive program incentives for adopting the program this year, while extending compliance deadlines to 2014.
The strategy for implementation also contain targeted outreach efforts intended to educate physicians and staff in more effective uses of EMR systems. This effort includes providing information regarding medical devices, products and software specifically targeted toward creating efficient and user friendly EMR systems. (hhs.gov, 11/30/2011)
Many large companies which previously held no close affiliations with the medical field have begun expanding their business models to include HIT-specific devices and software packages. Accenture and AT&T just announced collaboration on a new medical imaging solution which officials from both companies say will assist health facilities in accessing and sharing medical images in order for physicians to collaborate more efficiently.
The presentation was officially made late last month at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting in Chicago. Representatives revealed the new technology which experts attest will provide medical professionals with the ability to electronically share, review and store medical images, such as X-rays and CT or MRI scans with significantly increased speed and quality.
Derek Danois, who leads medical imaging for Accenture Health, had this to say regarding the announcement, “Access to an accurate, cost-effective diagnosis will significantly improve all aspects of health delivery. Healthcare IT is an integral link in connecting clinical decisions and enabling an insight driven healthcare system.” (healthcareitnews.com, 11/28/2011)
According to Guillermo Moreno, vice president of the recruiting firm Experis Healthcare, skills and experience in EMR and EHR implementation, applications, Information Security, data management, as well as Business Intelligence and analytics abilities are going to be the hot commodities in 2012. (healthcareitnews.com, 11/28/2011)
The Obama Administration has announced several workforce development and educational incentive programs in order to meet the increasing demand for skilled workers in these areas. Training programs are now available in nine universities and 82 community colleges across the nation. The programs can already boast almost 6,000 graduates as of October, and over 10,000 more students are currently enrolled in programs from the Associate level through post-graduate and Master’s level degrees. (hhs.gov, 11/30/2011)
“There are a lot of qualified people out there, and the gap they have is that most CIOs in hospitals are looking for clinical backgrounds that understand what medical jargon is. There’s a premium on security folks and on folks that can take large amounts of information and get some value out of it, so business intelligence and data warehousing are significant. Hourly rates and salaries are going through the roof, and most candidates have multiple offers at the time that hospitals are trying to land them,” says Eric Marx, vice president of Health Care IT for Modis, an IT staffing subsidiary of Adecco Group. (eweek.com, 11/08/2011)
In other news, MedZilla.com saw the stepping down of one of its finest innovators in the field of Online Employment. The CEO and Founder, Dr. Frank Heasley announced his resignation early in November due to health reasons. While he will continue as Chairman of the Board, he plans to shift his main focus to his continued efforts supporting those who suffer from multiple myeloma, a condition he has battled since 2007. Heasley believes this transition will bring in new minds and fresh ideas to the company. (medzilla.com, 11-03-2011)
His successor, John Burkhardt, has been working closely with him for the past eight years and is sad to see his mentor go. “It’s difficult to see someone you admire step down. However, I am honored and excited to be taking on this new role within the company. He has provided excellent leadership these past years and real insight into the field; I hope to do justice to his efforts by continuing to improve and expand our relationships with clients and job-seekers.”
The entire staff at MedZilla.com wishes Dr. Heasley continued health and offers him their immense gratitude for his years of management and guidance.
Established in mid-1994, MedZilla is the original and leading web site to serve career and hiring needs for professionals and employers in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medicine, science and healthcare. The MedZilla jobs database contains about 7,500 open positions. The resume database currently contains over 295,000 resumes with 26,500 less than three months old. These resources have been characterized as the largest, most comprehensive databases of their kind on the web in the industries served.
MedZilla(R) is a Registered Trademark owned by MedZilla Inc. Copyright (C)2011, MedZilla, Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce and distribute this text in its entirety, and if electronically, with a link to the URL http://www.medzilla.com. For permission to quote from or reproduce any portion of this message, please contact MedZilla, Inc. at press(at)medzilla(dot)com
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