More Professionals Needed For Canadian Healthcare

An additional 6,200 – 12,200 health informatics (HI) and health information management (HIM) professionals, including 70% in IT and HIM roles, will be needed in Canadian healthcare over the next five years due to replacement and growth demand.

Released June 2 at e-Health 2014 in Vancouver, key industry changes and their impact on the HI and HIM professions – now numbering 39,900 professionals – are identified in the HI & HIM Human Resources Outlook 2014 – 2019 report. Highlights of the report include:

  • Retirement will be a major challenge with 5,023 professionals expected to retire between 2014 and 2019.
  • Projected moderation in the pace of e-Health investments; the shift to supporting, optimizing, and utilization of e-Health technologies; the integration of new technologies into the healthcare system; and increasing clinical and productivity benefits from existing investments will create a demand for corresponding roles.
  • Roles under greater demand and/or at “High Risk” of skills shortages include those in data analytics, architecture, security and privacy standards, data quality, information governance, business analysis, and clinical informatics.
  • The need to broaden the skills of current clinical professionals.
  • HI & HIM professionals are being drawn to the US as a result of rapid acceleration of e-Health investment there.

The first edition of this report, published in 2009, documented how large-scale e-Health investments were causing HI and HIM skills shortages. The 2014 report supports that replacement demand,  arising from an aging workforce, will take on significantly greater importance as a driver of hiring requirements. It does, however, note that the majority of professionals who will be using or supporting e-Health technologies over the next five years are already employed in the workforce. This increases the importance of upgrade and advanced training for HI and HIM professionals.

The full report is available here.