In recent years, healthcare IT has become one of the fastest growing fields in the health service job market. As health providers and medical technology companies seek to comply with new legislation, demand has increased for individuals capable of navigating both complex technologies and healthcare frameworks.
New research from MIT Sloan School of Management indicates that the inclusion of technologically experienced staff members has become the “new financial performance differentiator.” Researchers explain: “Doing business in the digital era entails risks ranging from cybersecurity breaches and privacy issues to business model disruptions and missed competitive opportunities. When a board lacks digital savvy, it can’t get a handle on important elements of strategy and oversight and thus can’t play its critical role of helping guide the company to a successful future.”
The unprecedented demand within healthcare for technologically adept workers has spurred the creation of various new roles in the medical industry:
Chief Data/Informatics Officer
Generally considered interchangeable positions, both Chief Data & Chief Informatics Officers focus on the intersection between computer science, information science, and healthcare. These roles examine incoming data, and provide structures to effectively utilize that information. In an interview with the online news magazine CIO, Randall Gaboriault—Chief Information Officer at Christiana Care Health System—explained the roles’ inherent value: “[In healthcare] we capture all these little things that happen, we capture all these transactional things. All this information healthcare actually has to now mine and use to better inform what we do with patients of similar composition. What informaticists do is mine information and help turn it into meaningful, operative action on the frontline of clinical delivery.”
Annual Salary Average: $184,335
Chief Digital/Technology Officer
As one of the newest emerging roles in healthcare, Chief Digital Officers have begun to join hospital leadership ranks. In an interview with Healthcare IT News, Pamela Dixon—managing partner of health tech recruiting firm SSi-Search—states that chief digital officers are “strategic, business-minded leader[s] using technology as a key lever to rethink operations.” This role pinpoints weaknesses in healthcare processes, and identifies efficient technologies to address potential system flaws.
Annual Salary Average: $175,303
Clinical Application Analyst
Clinical application analysts play a critical role in integrating new technologies into existing clinical workflows. Gaboriault observed that this role necessitates an ability to “manage the transformation of work processes […]. Analysts are the[…] translation and lexicon bridge between clinical workflow and application functionality.” As clinical application analysts work closely with medical operations, a strong understanding of clinical applications and patient care processes is key.
Annual Salary Average: $71,000
The Health Level Seven International (HL7) is a set of standards for exchanging and developing electronic health records. Alongside increased demands for interoperability, the role of the HL7 developer has flourished. As a non-profit organization, HL7 has served to develop new formats and definitions which can be used internationally. HL7 developers work to implement these formats into practice. Chief information officer at Cleveland Clinic Martin Harris, MD states that “the analyst will look at what’s going through HL7 and troubleshoot, identify issues and trends whereas the developers are creating the messages themselves, using languages like cloverleaf and Rhapsody.”
Annual Salary Average: $91,000
*Salary data provided by CIO.com.