The healthcare field continues to be a leader in job availability, bringing in workers from a variety of fields in order to meet its demands, according to MedZilla's December employment report. Industry experts say that with the US Electronic Health and Medical Records compliance deadlines approaching, there's a significant demand for IT professionals with healthcare experience.
The number of available healthcare and related industry positions rose significantly in November, with 17,000 new jobs produced in the medical field alone. These developments have resulted in an average of 27,000 new jobs being added every month, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"What we're seeing, and what we hope we'll continue to see, are new employment markets opening up where these new industries are being formed. Health IT is a perfect example of this. Here you have two, previously separate industries that are rapidly growing into one another. Where the two meet you have an opportunity to explore a completely new labor pool," says Del Johnston, manager of client relations at MedZilla.com, a healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotech employment information provider.
More than 50,000 healthcare IT-related jobs have been created since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) went into effect. BLS reports indicate that the number of health IT jobs is expected to rise by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Many large companies that previously held no close affiliations with the medical field have begun expanding their business models to include HIT-specific devices and software packages. For example, Accenture and AT&T just announced collaboration on a new medical imaging solution which officials from both companies say will assist health facilities in accessing and sharing medical images in order for physicians to collaborate more efficiently.
The Obama Administration has announced several workforce development and educational incentive programs in order to meet the increasing demand for skilled workers in these areas. Training programs are now available in nine universities and 82 community colleges across the nation. The programs already boast almost 6,000 graduates as of October, and over 10,000 more students are currently enrolled in programs from the associate level through post-graduate and Master's level degrees, according to HHS.