As healthcare systems prepare for the end of Public Health Emergency (PHE) funding and other economic factors, they must address the mounting challenges of attracting and retaining top talent for their IT departments. To address these challenges, healthcare providers will see increased needs for solutions that provide both cost-effectiveness and scalability while reducing the burden of hiring and managing disparate teams.
Limited Resources and its Impact
One of the key challenges facing healthcare systems is the impact of limited resources on their IT infrastructure and staff. Tighter budgets for purchasing hardware or software, inadequate salaries and reduced training and development opportunities make attracting and retaining skilled IT professionals challenging. As a result, healthcare providers face difficulties in implementing new technology and keeping up with the latest advances.
Hiring and Retaining Healthcare IT Talent
Hiring and retaining talent in healthcare IT is also costly. Including even the most junior of IT resources, the average salary for healthcare IT services professionals is nearly $90,000/year. And retention across healthcare remains a challenge. The current average hospital turnover rate nationally is 25.9 percent.
The cost of recruiting and hiring healthcare IT talent can also be high. For example, expenses such as job postings, background checks and onboarding add up quickly. Furthermore, the time-to-fill open positions can be lengthy, resulting in decreased productivity and increased stress for existing staff.
Negative Impact of Delays in IT Projects
Delayed projects diminish a healthcare system’s ability to deliver high-quality health care and maintain regulatory compliance. Upgrades to EHRs or cybersecurity measures can be delayed, resulting in lost productivity or revenue.
Additionally, healthcare systems remain forced to spread their IT teams thinly across the organization. This means there’s an increased risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. With reduced funding, healthcare providers may be unable to invest in the latest cybersecurity tools, putting patient data at risk.
The cost of responding to a data breach can be massive. A report by the Ponemon Institute concluding that the average cost of a data breach in healthcare is $7.13M. This is due to expenses such as regulatory fines, legal fees and reputational damage.
Overcoming IT Talent Challenges
As healthcare providers continue to face these challenges, partnering with a managed services provider can help. By outsourcing tasks like service desk and EHR application support, healthcare systems can focus on strategic initiatives. Additionally, they can reduce costs associated with managing a large IT team.
A managed services solution enables healthcare systems to establish predictable, cost-effective support models. These models provide greater economies of scale to better achieve strategic priorities. This will continue to be important as budgets tighten.
Healthcare systems are facing significant challenges in attracting and retaining top IT talent. These challenges could intensify with the end of PHE funding and other economic factors.
By partnering with a managed services provider, providers can reduce the burden on IT staff. Instead they can focus on delivering high-quality patient care. As healthcare technology continues to evolve, managed services will become increasingly important for healthcare systems looking to do more with less.