iHealthBeat, September 7, 2011
With healthcare providers working to implement electronic health records to qualify for meaningful use incentive payments and vendors seeing big spikes in business, it is not surprising that there is a huge demand for health IT professionals. What is surprising, though, are reports from recent graduates of federal health IT training programs who say they can't find a job. It's been estimated that the country will need up to 50,000 health IT professionals to help doctors and hospitals meet meaningful use criteria. With the U.S. unemployment rate hovering around 9%, health IT is seen as an area ripe for job creation. The federal government has invested millions of dollars in developing a skilled health IT workforce, and interest in federal health IT training programs has been high. The first graduates of the health IT training programs hit the job market this spring, but the jury is still out on the success of their success. Federal officials have touted the training efforts as a significant step in the right direction, while some graduates say they are frustrated by the lack of career opportunities.