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2013 IT Workforce Snapshot - Healthcare

TEKsystems’ Healthcare IT Workforce Snapshot is designed to provide a high-level view of trends impacting IT spending and IT employment within the healthcare industry. This report can help healthcare organizations create a benchmark for comparing IT goals with industry peers and provide a reality check for potential challenges related to securing the right IT professionals.

IT Spending Projections

Recent research indicates 39 percent of healthcare IT (HIT) leaders expect their budgets to increase in 2013. Seventeen percent of healthcare IT leaders expect their budgets to stay the same and 39 percent expect their budgets to decrease.1

The 2013 projected spending on healthcare IT in North America is expected to be $73 billion.1 The largest buckets of IT spending are IT services ($24.4 billion), software ($13.2 billion), telecom ($10.5 billion) and hardware ($4.6 billion).2

Half of healthcare IT leaders anticipate external IT spending on to increase in 2013. Approximately 40 percent also expect spending to increase on IT applications (44 percent) and IT infrastructure (39 percent). Additionally, 34 percent of healthcare IT leaders expect IT infrastructure and IT applications spending to rise by 5 percent or more.1

"Organizations throughout the industry are implementing or upgrading various systems, like EHR or business intelligence technologies, which more than likely requires outside support since many do not possess the necessary IT skills or the scale in-house. The need to understand how these technologies impact the business has never been greater as these tools are creating efficiency, automation and business process change,” says Allen Kriete, TEKsystems Healthcare Services Vice President. “The need for services and resources around clinical implementation and application integration is in high demand. That also puts pressure on security, storage and many of the infrastructure and operational groups within our clients.”

Impacts to IT

Healthcare IT leaders expect operations, risk management/legal and compliance and finance/accounting to have the biggest increase in IT needs in 2013. The trends having the biggest impact on the organization include a shortage of IT workers, security and mobility.1

Biggest Impact on Organization in 2013
Shortage of IT Workers
Business Intelligence
Big Data
Consumerization of IT /BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
Cloud Computing
Data Center Consolidation
Enterprise Resource planning
Social Networking
Biggest Increase in IT Needs in 2013
Risk Management/Legal and Compliance
Human Resources
Research and Development

"The healthcare IT worker shortage continues to be a pain point for the entire industry. Building high-quality HIT teams needs to be a priority because not having great people prevents organizations from successfully implementing or upgrading IT technologies around security systems, mobility/consumerization of IT or business intelligence,” states Kriete. “Organizations need to be able to clearly articulate their needs, their internal competency gaps, their expectations and requirements and be decisive when they find a person or organization that maps to those critical areas.”

IT Hiring Expectations

To support the growing demands for better, faster and more cost-effective HIT, healthcare organizations need to consider workforce strategy effectiveness. Close to half of healthcare IT decision makers expect their temporary (47 percent) and permanent (44 percent) IT headcount to increase in 2013. Expectations for permanent IT headcount are stable with 44 percent of health IT leaders saying IT will stay the same. Comparatively, just 29 percent say temporary headcount will stay the same, while nearly a quarter anticipate a decrease in temporary HIT workers.1

According to the 24th annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, half of the respondents (51 percent), which included CIOs, Directors of IT , CMIOs, CNIOs and IT managers, anticipate their IT staffs will increase over the next year.3

"The demand for HIT talent is strong as organizations throughout the vertical implement many of the same IT initiatives and race against the same Meaningful Use and ICD 10 deadlines,” says Kriete. “For an organization to improve its chances of success, its workforce planning strategies need to be continually updated to adapt to current, and future, local, regional and national labor market trends. Organizations with the most effective, proactive talent management approaches will be better positioned to hire the best available talent and meet critical deadlines.”

Supply and Demand for IT Professionals

Demand for IT professionals with healthcare-specific experience remains high. According to CareerBuilder, the number of HIT-related positions increased approximately 20 percent from March 2012 to March 2013. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) reports that healthcare IT employment is expected to grow by 36 percent through 2020.4

TEKsystems’ research corroborates this steady demand. The number of job requisitions for IT professionals with healthcare experience increased 47 percent from March 2012 to March 2013.

While steady demand is expected, 21 percent of healthcare IT decision makers fear they will be unable to secure the HIT staff needed to successfully achieve their IT objectives3. Based on additional BLS data, total healthcare employment is approximately 8 million people. Of that population, there are approximately 120,000 healthcare IT professionals in the U.S., which accounts for about 1.5 percent of the total U.S. healthcare workforce.5

"No strategy can be implemented without the right team in place. IT is vital for organizations to continue investing in training and development of their existing IT teams, recent graduates and seasoned IT resources with other experience outside of healthcare to help shorten the gap between supply and demand for HIT professionals,” comments Kriete. “Investing in the development of higher education curricula and promotion of career opportunities in healthcare IT to the future workforce needs to be a major focal area to increase the size of the HIT labor pool.”

Hot HIT Skills

Many of the top skills in demand for 2013 are relatively unchanged from 2012, but clinical application support, network/architecture support and clinical informatics continue to be the areas of greatest demand; these have topped the list for the past three years. The top ten HIT skills in demand include3:

  1. Clinical Application Support
  2. Network/Architecture Support
  3. Clinical Informatics
  4. It Security
  5. System Integration
  6. Process/Workflow
  7. PC/Server Support
  8. Clinical Transformation
  9. Database Administration
  10. Help Desk

"Understanding the skills necessary for successful IT initiatives is essential. If healthcare organizations don’t understand their resource gaps, IT is impossible to know who to look for and where to find them. Once you grasp those needs, developing a strategy to attract, develop and retain those IT professionals becomes the top priority,” comments Kriete. “Due to the various legislative initiatives that put strict timelines around compliance, IT is important for healthcare organizations to take action now or face an uphill battle to secure the necessary healthcare IT talent.”


The skills the BLS identified as experiencing the greatest year-after-year growth are among the top-paying jobs in the healthcare IT field to date. The best IT professionals in these fields can make $100,000 per year or more. The annual median salary for these skills is more than $70,000 per year with the exception of Computer support specialists who can still earn around $50,000 per year if among the top 10 percent.4

IT leaders
Annual Median Salary
Computer and Information Systems Managers $106,115
Software Developers, Systems Software $87,845
Software Developers, Applications $80,975
Database Administrators $68,200
Computer Systems Analysts $73,543
Information Security Analysts Web Developers and Computer Network Architects $72,560
Computer Support Specialists $47,900

According to IT decision makers in the healthcare industry, Mobile application Developers, Security Specialists and Business Intelligence Specialists can expect salary increases upwards of 10 percent in 2012. other roles like Enterprise architects, Data/Master Data Management Architects and Cloud architects are likely to experience raises in the 1 percent to 5 percent range.1

IT decision-makers anticipate salary increases for most IT skill sets, but the most in-demand skills, like developers and engineers, are likely to receive the greatest increases.

"Compensation is always an important factor to IT professionals, but IT professionals want more. They desire professional development, skills enhancement and career advancement opportunities, which can outweigh financial compensation. Developing a robust employee value proposition helps organizations attract the right people and makes one organization stand out from the rest,” says Kriete. “Healthcare is one of the few industries right now that can offer all of the things IT professionals are looking for: skill development, career advancement and competitive compensation, so IT is important for the value propositions to feature all of these benefits.”

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals – while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.

1TEKsystems Annual IT Forecast, January 2013
2Gartner IT Spending & Staffing Report 2013, January 2013
324th Annual HIMSS Leadership survey, March 2013
4Bureau of Labor statistics, National Compensation Survey, april 2013
5Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Survey, March 2013