- While hospitals are investing heavily in healthcare informatics and technology, those dollars aren’t necessarily going to pay IT professionals, a new survey shows.
- The average health IT professional made $73,117 in 2017, 20% less than a year ago, according to survey results published by Health eCareers.
- One reason for the decline may be hospitals’ replacing high-paid consultants with cheaper in-house staff, Mike Silverstein, managing partner of healthcare and life sciences at Direct Recruiters in Solon, Ohio, told FierceHealthcare. “Health systems are going through upgrades and optimizations, but don’t need that same kind of talent they need to convert from one EMR to another,” he said.
Now that the majority of hospitals and health systems have EHR systems, attention is turning to enhancements that improve workflow, the delivery of care and patient outcomes. Hospitals are investing in IT solutions like data analytics and machine learning. They’re also getting involved firsthand in developing and commercializing novel technologies.
At the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, researchers are pursuing about 50 different projects ranging from devices that fit on a child’s pinky finger to implantables meant to last a lifetime. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, through its entrepreneurial arm, UPMC Enterprises, is also pumping money and efforts into health IT.
Hospitals’ enthusiasm for health IT solutions hasn’t translated into better compensation for those on the ground in IT departments. Faring worst were professionals who worked in healthcare informatics, where the average salary was $46,000 a year. They comprised more than half of the 724 respondents who identified as health IT professionals.
Managers and directors averaged $77,550, while professionals working in network systems and security — a growing concern for healthcare organizations — averaged $65,820.
The one group that saw salaries rise was health IT executives, with median annual pay of up of $150,250, up from $127,500 in 2016.