Employment Opportunity in Electronic Health Records Systems

by Modis on November 1, 2011

Chris Pirillo sat down with Eric Marx, the vice president of Healthcare IT Services at Modis, to talk about IT’s increasing role in the health industry and the potential for job growth.

Health care is one of the last industries to go through the IT transformation, and it probably won’t be finished transitioning until 2015 or 2016. Marx said there’s a perfect storm in health care right now, and the government has driven a lot of it through the incentives that came from the stimulus package.

This “perfect storm” consists of electronic health records, health care reform law, and ICD-10 — the update of health classification codes that involves turning our current 20,000-code system into a more detailed 200,000-code system.

IT plays a large role in getting health care where it needs to be. It’ll help get an enterprise-wide electronic health record system in place, which not only involves gathering patient information, but also involves analyzing this information in order to discover what treatments would work best and be most cost-effective for patients.

Innovative companies are heading in a direction that segments the information into what needs to be public and what needs to be private, but either way, giving patients more information about not only their own health but about the industry itself enables them to make better decisions.

Right now, most providers are hiring health care IT workers with specific, relevant experience, but Marx said that over time they’ll probably start to understand that a great employee from sectors like manufacturing or finance may be a great fit if they have the necessary “soft skills” like good communication and learning ability.

After the incentive period is over and hospitals have finished going through that transformation, more opportunities will most likely open up for general IT workers looking to break into the industry. The many penalties for non-compliance mean that there will be an influx in hiring activity until about 2016 or 2017.

If you’re looking to get an IT job in health care, Marx suggests having a college graduate attitude. “You’ve got to be hungry,” he said. “Get your foot in the door. Prove your worth.” He recommends getting a general IT job first and then trying to transition to the health care industry

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