Georgia Healthcare IT & Education Working Together

The Institute for Healthcare Information Technology (IHIT) commissioned Porter Research to perform a follow-up project stemming from last year’s “Georgia Healthcare IT Workforce Readiness Survey”, which involved a statewide survey of healthcare IT service providers (vendors) and practitioners (hospitals, clinicians) to gauge the status of their plans to expand and hire from within the state, as well as their perceptions of how well-equipped Georgia’s educational institutions are to provide qualified healthcare IT job candidates.  The Workforce Readiness project produced a whitepaper, highlighting the research findings, that IHIT shared with state leaders and educational representatives.  It was decided that follow-up research was needed to collect more granular insight about specific areas of industry perceptions as it relates to the state’s educational system.

Consequently, IHIT in collaboration with the Technical College System of Georgia, the University System of Georgia, and Emory Continuing Education conducted a series of interviews and discussions with top executives from a random selection of 10 healthcare IT companies, of varying sizes, located in the Metro Atlanta area.  Unlike the earlier, larger-scope statewide research project, this follow-up effort was designed as a face-to-face meeting with industry leaders in order to get feedback beyond a Q&A session.  The in-person format allowed for every company to be presented with the same set of open-ended discussion topics in the hopes of starting a dialogue between all parties.  The meetings were also held to help evaluate current educational offerings as well as proposed future initiatives that could be developed to “bridge any gaps” that may exist between the job demand and the educational supply to foster growth for Georgia’s healthcare IT industry.

The newly-released “Georgia Healthcare IT & Education Working Together” whitepaper covers the interviews with healthcare IT executives, their suggestions for developing an educational “orientation” curriculum to better prepare students, and the responses from healthcare IT educators.  The Working Together whitepaper, along with the earlier Workforce Readiness whitepaper, can be downloaded here.

IHIT is an Atlanta-based non-profit organization founded for the purpose of connecting resources and leveraging strengths of the healthcare IT industry within Georgia and the Southeastern U.S. to expand technology throughout the nation’s healthcare system.