Healthcare IT workforce development remains one of the biggest challenges in healthcare IT today. A recent CHIME survey notes that the most frequently reported skills shortages include lack of education in IT theory and practice and lack of knowledge of healthcare and related IT applications. Indeed, the field of “healthcare IT” itself is so broad that it is difficult to introduce the breadth and depth of the scope in a typical classroom setting despite of US Department of Labor programs designed to build the workforce of the future.
As part of Catholic University’s MSIT-HIT Program, students in HIT573 had the opportunity to interact with professionals across a broad range of backgrounds and experiences to increase their real world exposure to emerging trends in academic, military, fixed facility and at home care that examine how technology is used in healthcare to change the traditional boundaries of hospital based medicine.
The following panel of experts gave generously of their time and expertise to deep dive into emerging technologies in military and commercial healthcare “beyond the firewall” of hospital-based medicine:
- Anik Dubé, PhD(c), RN, Professeure/Professor, École de science infirmière-School of Nursing, Université de Moncton, N.B., Canada. Understanding Aboriginal youth’s experiences with accessing sexual health services and HIV/STI testing in rural communities.
- Dana M. Lewis, Digital Media and eHealth Strategist, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA. #hcsm | Integrating Digital and Social Media in Healthcare
- Bill Klenke, Senior Healthcare Strategy Consultant, Noblis, Falls Church, VA. IM/IT Experiences in Military Health and Current Issues in Military Healthcare
- Ian Taylor, CFO and Daniel Parker, CEO, Our Care Direct, Norfolk, VA. Emerging Technologies: Coordinating At Home Care
Closing the skills gap for emerging healthcare IT leaders means shrinking the curriculum lifecycle to address transformative technologies as they emerge. By addressing new trends in community and global outreach, the panelists identified several core competencies for IT leaders in their subject area to meet the needs of the new era in healthcare IT.
- Ethnographic competencies (multicultural, multilingual, empathy, user experience and user interface design skills)
- Putting business before technology (understanding business cases, domain expertise and ability to “walk a mile in the patient’s shoes”)
- Information security and privacy acumen
- “People skills” for negotiation, collaboration, teamwork and strong oral and written communication skills with multiple and diverse stakeholders
- Ability to think creatively and work in remote and austere conditions
- Ability to architect complex hybrid solutions that maximize third party products and platforms in addition to custom development
- Data architecture and master data management skills
- Competence and fluency in new technologies (social media, cloud, and quite frankly whatever’s coming down the pike)
It was stressed that the technical skills du jour are a prerequisite for consideration, but hiring decisions are made on the non-technical factors above in order to ensure collaborative workstreams in ever evolving and transforming environments outside traditional boundaries.
Thanks to all the panelists and students who participated – it was definitely an engaged and collaborative venture. Copies of their presentations are available for viewing here.