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Healthcare IT Executives Face Increasing Pressure to Innovate
[February 27, 2018]

Healthcare IT Executives Face Increasing Pressure to Innovate

Leading into HIMSS18, TEKsystems (News - Alert)®, a leading provider of IT services, today released data that provides insights into the status of key IT initiatives and central topics of the healthcare-focused event, including security, information exchange and interoperability, data analytics, business/clinical intelligence, and population health. In addition to identifying the implementation status of mission-critical services, data indicates that while healthcare IT leaders face increasing pressure to innovate, technologies such as IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) are not yet being leveraged to drive innovation.

Results are based on surveys which polled almost 200 healthcare IT leaders (e.g., CIOs, IT vice presidents, IT directors and IT hiring managers) in late 2017 / early 2018 on a range of key issues, including technology maturity, workforce planning, critical roles and the top trends shaping healthcare IT today.

Key highlights include:

Majority of Healthcare Organizations Securely Integrating and Analyzing Data; External-Facing Initiatives Late to Implementation Stage


Q: At what stage is your
organization with regard to the


Nothing planned
for foreseeable
(0-12 months)


Interested / planning stage (expect
to take action within next 12-24


Implementation/ Evaluation/

Information Security       0%       13%       86%
Digital Health Systems       6%       19%       75%
Quality Reporting       6%       19%       75%
Analytics and Business Intelligence       7%       17%       75%
Interoperability       6%       19%       74%
Consumer-Focused Healthcare       9%       19%       72%
IT Performance / Risk Management       7%       21%       72%
EMR Optimization       21%       10%       69%
Telemedicine       29%       20%       51%
Population Health Management       22%       28%       50%

TEKsystems' Take: Information security projects are the most mature when considering the technology most impactful to healthcare organizations. This is expected, given the importance of protecting data and adhering to federal and state regulations related to patient care. Other than security, healthcare is placing resources behind IT initiatives that make organizations more efficient operationally speaking, such as digital health systems, before progressing to patient-facing technologies, such as telemedicine and population health management.

Foundational, Enabling IT in Place; Automation, AI and IoT Yet to be Fully Leveraged



At what stage is your organization with regard to the following initiatives?


Nothing planned for the foreseeable future
(0 - 12 months)


Interested / Planning/ Implementation/
Evaluation/ Refinement









Automation / Machine Learning

      47%       53%
Cloud Computing      




Mobile Applications      





TEKsystems' Take: The pressure for healthcare IT departments to drive innovation is extremely high with 90 percent of healthcare IT executives indicating that the department is expected to drive innovation. While the vast majority of organizations have taken advantage of cloud infrastructures and mobility applications, both IoT and AI are essentially at a tipping point-half of those surveyed had nothing on the planning horizon, while the other half were in various phases of evaluation and implementation. This could delay technologies and applications that have the potential to shape healthcare in the coming years, such as connected health and telemedicine. TEKsystems believes that a key reason for the delay is the heightened need for healthcare organizations to adhere to regulatory requirements and a higher security standard. AI in particular is viewed as potentially transformative and could usher in a new wave of innovative applications for healthcare.

Few Implement Formal Strategic Workforce Planning Strategies; Even Fewer Successfully Leverage it, Leaving Critical IT Roles Unfilled


Q: Does your organization have a formal
strategic workforce planning strategy? [select
only one]


Q: Do you consider your organization successful in
using workforce planning to match skill availability with
upcoming initiatives/projects? [select only one]

Yes       40%       29%
No / Don't Know       60%       71%

Q: What positions are most difficult to find exceptional talent for? [top 3 selected]
Percentage (Rank)

Security       30% (1)
Software Developer / Engineer / DevOps       30% (1)
IT Management       25% (2)
Clinical Applications       25% (2)
Business/Systems Analyst       23% (3)
Project Manager       20% (4)
Healthcare Informatics (News - Alert)       20% (4)
Data Analyst       13% (5)
Implementation Consultant       10% (6)
Scrum Master / Agile (News - Alert) Coach       8% (7)

TEKsystems' Take: The fact that relatively few healthcare IT organizations employ formal strategic workforce planning strategies (40 percent)-and even fewer (29 percent) say they are effective-is perhaps not surprising given slow progress on several mission-critical services and initiatives. Especially since the majority of healthcare IT leaders name hiring qualified IT professionals quickly the most difficult aspect of workforce planning, which could drive the adoption of strategic workforce planning. Given the importance of security with respect to healthcare IT initiatives and projects, and the pressure to enable innovation-generally in the form of applications and services-well-qualified security, and software developers / engineers / DevOps pros remain the most difficult to find.

"Healthcare IT is starting to make progress in some key areas, including digital health systems, EMR optimization and IT performance / risk management. However, organizations are lagging when it comes to the technologies and initiatives that have the potential to change the delivery and effectiveness of healthcare, most notably AI and IoT. AI in particular has the potential to decrease medical error, improve diagnostic accuracy and outcomes, optimize revenue, and streamline operations," says Matt Payne, executive director of TEKsystems Healthcare Services. "Healthcare IT teams in 2018 will focus on implementing new IT applications and infrastructure, setting the stage for innovation while maintaining critical functions and operations such as data security and analytics. The challenge for finding talent with the right skill sets remains, as healthcare IT requires not only technical skill, but industry expertise and familiarity with compliance standards unique to the field. With only 4 in 10 of those surveyed expressing a preference for talent with industry knowledge versus technical expertise, organizations will need to be creative in how they approach sourcing talent that combines the necessary balance of both disciplines. However, perhaps due to the sensitive nature of the industry in protecting information and mitigating risk, IT teams in healthcare are seen as greater partners in driving innovation and directing digital strategy than in other industries."

TEKsystems will be exhibiting at HIMSS18 in booth No. 6421 from March 6-8 at the Venetian Convention Center, as well as co-presenting an education session, "Build A Next-Gen IT Team to Embrace Digital Disruption," on Friday, March 9.

TEKsystems' Matt Payne is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals-while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.

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