By: Andrea Santiago
Healthcare added jobs in June, but at a modest rate, according to this week's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, some areas of healthcare employment contracted, such as physicians' offices, which lost 3,400 jobs during the month of June.
The net job growth for the entire healthcare industry was an addition of 13,000 jobs. Outpatient care centers grew the most in June, adding 4,000 jobs. Other areas of relatively high growth in the healthcare sector were hospitals, which added 3,700 jobs, and home health care, which added 3,600 jobs. Also, residential and nursing care facilities added 4,500 jobs in June.
Many other industries showed little or no growth; therefore, the unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent. Comparatively, the unemployment rate for the healthcare industry as of June 2012 is 6.2 percent, up from 5.8 percent this time last year.
By: Joseph Conn
I wrote Wednesday about the new ambulatory electronic health-record system survey report from the National Center for Health Statistics, and I want to elaborate today on what I think was a key finding from it.
According to the survey, 41% of the 55% of office-based physicians who use an EHR now use a Web-based EHR system.
Unfortunately, the NCHS didn't ask in previous surveys about they type of systems docs used, so the NCHS has no apples-to-apples comparison of the growth of Web-based systems over time, according to researcher Eric Jamoom, lead author of the agency's latest report.
So, let's go to the archive and piece together a partial growth chart from stories about previous surveys.
Consider back in 2007, when the American Osteopathic Association surveyed its members on health IT use. That survey, conducted on the group's behalf by the Medical Group Management Association, found that nearly 21% of D.O.s were using Web-based systems. (As an aside, the osteopaths surveyed reported using 113 different EHR systems, with no one vendor achieving as much as a 6% market share. I mention that because yesterday, a report from KLAS Enterprises found that the ambulatory EHR market is still wide open, with no dominant vendor or group of vendors across all practices sizes. I'll be writing more about that and an interview I just did with the guy who crunched the numbers for that KLAS report in a blog post soon.)
In 2010, an earlier KLAS report revealed that one-third of all ambulatory practices were considering purchasing EHRs that use a software-as-a-service delivery model. A forerunner of SaaS, the "application service provider," or ASP, system was heavily hyped in the dot-com heyday.
The latest NCHS survey numbers indicate that Web-based EHRs have yet to attain the dominance in the office-based physician market that their developers were claiming as their inevitable due back 12 years ago when I started writing about health IT.
It seems clear, though, that physician resistance to these systems has waned. The Web is winning. Resistance is futile.
Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn.
The Health Market Insights from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) June 2012 Employment Data shows that health employment slows amid sluggish overall job market. Health care employment rose by 13,000 jobs in June 2012, about half the 24-month average of 25,000. Ambulatory services, which have typically led health sector growth, added fewer than 5,000 jobs, the lowest increase since August 2008. After a strong first quarter, hospitals showed below average growth in the second quarter, adding just 4,000 jobs in June. Only nursing and residential care facilities showed above average growth in June, adding 4,500 jobs versus an average of 3,000. Overall nonfarm employment in June grew by a disappointing 80,000 jobs. The labor force participation rate was unchanged, and the unemployment rate remained at 8.2%. Even with low job growth, the health share of total employment hit a new record of 10.8%
By: Andrea Santiago
Healthcare is a high-growth industry that is relatively recession-resistant, meaning it continues to grow and add jobs, even in a recessive economy. However, jobs may be shifted or redistributed from one area to another, as technology changes, as trends evolve, and demands ebb and flow for various specialties and modalities of medicine.
The implementation of EMR (electronic medical records) is causing some of this change to occur in the workforce. If your employer has not yet completed the transition to EMR and fully implemented this technology, you may be wondering how your job will be affected, and if your job will be eliminated completely.
If your job has anything to do with patient documentation or information management, you will be affected to some degree. The extent to which your job is affected, and whether or not your job is eliminated, depends on your flexibility and adaptability. The good news is that the American Medical News recently published a report showing that EMR implementation does not always result in job cuts, and sometimes new jobs are created when EMR is implemented.
How can you ensure that your job is one of the ones that saved, as opposed to being one of the jobs that is eliminated? How can you keep your job and come through the EMR implementation with your job intact? Even if you do not expect to lose your job, it may be helpful to know how to prepare for the EMR implementation so that you are ready for the long, arduous process.
If you are part of the medical records team, or the Health Information Management team, your job could be at risk in an EMR transition, unless you are proactive, flexible, and adaptable. In any employment situation, when change happens, the people who are flexible enough to "go with the flow" are the ones who will succeed.
Here are some tips that may help you save your job, and to prepare to successfully endure the EMR transition:
- Communicate: Ask questions – when will the transition take place? How can you help? How will your responsibilities change? Be sure to communicate your willingness to take on new responsibilities and learn new skills and processes.
- Learn: Once you know what is needed by your employer, you can take steps to either take new classes, or training. If you have been primarily in a paper-based role, you will need to be comfortable with new technical skills and software.
- Tweak: Monitor your progress and check in with your supervisor to make sure they are pleased with your new responsibilities. Be sure that you are on the same page with the changes in your role. You can’t possibly communicate too much during a major transition such as this.
- Adapt: Implement your new skills, and amaze your coworkers!
By: Stephanie Bouchard
LAS VEGAS – As recent studies have shown, health systems across the country are increasing their IT spending in the next five years or so. Given that, it is imperative that chief information officers and chief financial officers partner to create strategic budgets said a CIO and CFO during an education session Tuesday at HFMA’s national conference in Las Vegas.
Their session, “How to Create a Strategic IT Budget through CFO/CIO Partnership,” illustrated how CIOs and CFOs can partner to create a strategic budget to maximize resources and support the goals and missions of organizations.
The first thing to realize about creating strategic IT budgets said William Morgan, regional director of information management at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is that the actual IT component of most “IT” projects is small.
“Although we call it technology capital,” said co-presenter Pamela Leming Brower, CPA, the regional chief financial officer at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, “it really is about operational investments,” such as costs for labor, equipment, supplies and some overhead allocations.
A strategic IT budget, they said, emerges from the integration of effective IT governance, defined organizational and IT strategy and rigorous planning and budget support. A strategic IT budget should be:
• aligned with the organizational strategic plan,
• accessible, communicable and dynamic,
• provide guiding principles,
• inform and support technology decisions,
• serve as a formal reference and baseline for performance measurement and progress reporting, and
• be “owned” by the organization.
But above all, to achieve success, teamwork is crucial. “(When) we talk about that partnership for success – there’s defined roles and responsibilities,” Brower said. “So at the end of the day, it truly is that teamwork and accountability.”