Top 5 Healthcare IT Skills for 2017

Population Health

Population Health applications offered by EMR vendors are continuing to mature and gain a larger install base.  Many organizations will initiate projects over the next 12 months. There are currently a relatively small number of vendor implementation staff and consultants certified in these applications which is creating a high demand for permanent jobs and consulting opportunities.

Population Health Management seeks to improve the health outcomes of a group by monitoring and identifying individual patients within that group. This is accomplished by bringing together clinical, financial and operational data from across the enterprise. The overall goals are to identify care gaps within populations with chronic disease, improve clinical outcomes and lower overall costs.

Skills Needed:

  • EMR vendor certification in population health
  • ACO expertise
  • Experience with business intelligence applications
  • Data analysis
  • Experience in a clinical healthcare setting
  • Working knowledge of SQL
  • Strong analytical and statistical skills
  • Experience with financial and predictive modeling.


Business Intelligence

Healthcare organizations are implementing Business intelligence (BI) solutions to help analyze and report on large amounts of clinical and financial data. Some of the most popular BI tools for healthcare are Tableau, Health Catalyst, Alteryx, SAS, SAP and Microsoft Power BI.  Business Intelligence is a mixture of science, technology, and art. Organizations are recognizing the need for this unique skill and these roles are now the newest additions to many IT teams.

Skills Needed:

  • BI vendor certification
  • Experience with business analytics
  • Understanding of advanced statistics
  • Knowledge of SQL
  • Ability to write complex, highly-optimized queries across large volumes of data
  • Knowledge of ETL and data warehouse processes



Integration resources will be in high demand to support ambulatory practice consolidations, purchases of new facilities, population health, and business intelligence. Each of these strategic initiatives has a dependency on getting data from a variety of disparate systems into a corporate EMR or an enterprise data warehouse.

Skills Needed:  

  • HL7
  • Understanding of clinical and financial data
  • Integration engine experience
  • Working with flat files
  • Conversion experience
  • Technical project management
  • Analysis, development and testing



The high incidence of healthcare breaches and cyber-attacks is creating an increase in IT security spending and adjusting security strategies to focus on mitigation. Many of these strategies revolve around upgrading hardware, improving virtual systems, end-user training and integrating better management tools for the healthcare environment. According to cyber-crime experts, stolen health credentials can go for $10 each, about 10 or 20 times the value of a U.S. credit card number. According to Cisco, the current market around cybercrime actually ranges between $450 billion and $1 trillion per year.

Skills Needed:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP)
  • HIPAA Compliance and Security Training


Ambulatory EMR

The consolidation of Ambulatory practices by large healthcare organizations will continue as a top strategic initiative.  In some cases, organizations are deciding to move away from “best-of-breed” ambulatory systems in favor of a single EMR for inpatient and outpatient records. Each project requires a detailed assessment of current systems, an implementation plan and a dedicated resource team to implement the new EMR.  Additional planning is also centered-around migrating legacy data to a data warehouse.  Many organizations will choose to outsource a portion or the entire project.

Skills Needed:

  • Ambulatory practice experience
  • Project management
  • Workflow process redesign
  • Building
  • Testing
  • Curriculum development
  • Training
  • Go-Live support


Contributed by: Amy Noel, Executive Vice President, Sales and Recruiting