Status of healthcare IT staff in a world with COVID-19


Seann Mulligan, Vice President of Strategic Delivery, HCTec

After a year dominated by COVID-19, and even with the growing challenges of the delta variant, Health IT staff is recovering. To further complicate matters, the growing number of vaccine mandates in hospital systems has the potential to put the entire industry in serious trouble.

Throughout 2020, most U.S. hospital systems stopped in their tracks. Spending on capital projects stopped indefinitely and leaders were forced to significantly reduce contingent labor use and slow hiring of full-time employees in order to focus the remaining budgets on attention. direct from COVID-19 patients.

The largest healthcare talent group resulting from these deep cuts and layoffs, along with access to a new national and remote workforce, created an almost ideal staff market for hospitals. With the new net positions at a higher price, hiring managers were able to use all available funds to get the best talent and be very deliberate during their process.

By 2020, hospitals and health systems, like most organizations, sought to do more with less and only for the most critical functions. This meant that hiring deadlines became much longer, as funding and approvals for any technical spending took many more steps and reached the highest levels of the organization. With a slower and deliberate approach to filling roles in effect plus a bigger one healthcare computing of available talent, there were few incentives for entrepreneurs to speed up the process because they simply did not have to compete so much in these market conditions. And frankly, the computer workers in the space desperately needed work.

Only in the first half of 2021, there was a complete investment in the healthcare IT personnel market. As he advanced in the fight COVID-19[feminine[feminine, the economy reopened and U.S. hospitals and health care systems quickly began to return to “as always.” However, in many ways, 2021 is not a return to normal, but an acceleration or recovery. Many systems are accelerating projects that were suspended or delayed, and demand HIT / highly experienced.EHR Experts have returned strongly to pre-pandemic levels and are on track to surpass levels not seen since 2018-2019. This also means that the same talent group that was previously willing to take on any open role available and wait the longest deadlines returns to the driver’s seat.

In addition to an already challenging labor market, increasing the number of vaccine mandates for hospital and health care system employees has the potential to put more pressure on hiring and the number of critical vacancies. which remain open as a result. In early August, about 1,500 hospitals have required employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines, and those numbers are rising every day. The American Hospital Association estimates that 39% of U.S. hospitals have announced vaccine warrants. Vaccination among employees is causing many to seek new opportunities free of hospital warrants. This increases the pressure on employers to take on critical functions with an already limited job reserve. Successful sailing at this time will require creativity, experience, and hard work, and healthcare organizations need to be prepared to adapt.

What employers need to know

So how can you prepare for these challenges?

First, pick up the pace and sweeten the deal. Schedule candidate interviews and make decisions, and quickly. Because so many hospital systems require the same technical talent, it will be key to keep candidates engaged throughout the process, actively communicate, and secure funding in advance to make real-time decisions. If you don’t, the organizations that are doing the above will hire you with a faster and better candidate experience. The perfect candidate you loved will have five more opportunities to consider and will be out of the market when you’re ready to shoot the trigger, even waiting just a few days.

Second, don’t lose sight of your existing talent in the race to get new candidates. As competition increases, keep in mind that organizations are increasingly offering totally remote environments, higher-paying contracts, or more attractive FTE packages, which makes many employees consider new opportunities as the market strengthens. Totally remote opportunities are still plentiful, and a strong preference for remote work can cause your employees to look for something new if they need to return to the site, even in a hybrid capacity. An active conversation with your most important computer talent, if your priority is to retain them, will help guide your plan back to the office.

The best way to compete in this new healthcare environment is to be prepared. Knowing what’s on the horizon is the first step to getting into the race. Act quickly and intentionally and you will stay in the game, ensuring and retaining the best talent your organization needs to succeed.

About Seann Mulligan, Vice President of Strategic Delivery at HCTec:

Old Mulligan is a 20-year industry leader and recruiting expert with a proven track record of success in creating and driving high-impact growth initiatives and teams. He brings extensive experience in creating high-volume centralized delivery teams and strategies for IT and healthcare organizations.

Based in Brentwood, Tennessee, HCTec offers the best award-winning computer services in its category to more than 1,500 academic medical centers, health systems, community hospitals, critical care hospitals and other healthcare provider organizations across the country. Our highly qualified teams offer HIT experience across the full range of clinical and business applications, as well as data, security and other technical services. With more than 500 team members and decades of combined healthcare experience, HCTec has a high KLAS rating, providing healthcare IT staff, managed service solutions and EHR services.

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