Emerging Health IT Roles and Skillsets


Objective: This study examined the value of Real-Time Labor Market Information (RT-LMI) for identifying how frequently, and for which occupations, skills related to health information technology (HIT) are specifically demanded by healthcare employers. The goal of this study was to understand the value and limitations of RT-LMI for monitoring health workforce demand, including allied health professions.
Data/Setting: We obtained a dataset from the job search engine company “LinkUp” of job ads posted in the fifty states and the District of Columbia during the 2015 calendar year. LinkUp provided the text information identifying the following fields: unique job identifier, employer/company name, job title, city, state, zip code, county, date posted, date created, date checked by LinkUp, job ad website url, and job description.
Design/Methods: The job descriptions were delivered as unstructured text strings that required additional coding to identify keywords of interest. Our study team developed a coding and parsing process to define the key variables of interests: occupation and HIT skills.
Results: Over 1.4 million records had one or more of the occupations from our designated healthcare occupation terms, and approximately half had a job description that could be used to search for skills required by the employer. The percentage of records with a job title and a job description that referenced a specific HIT skill varied greatly by occupation, with most occupations having fewer than 10% of records containing a HIT skill from our list of search terms. The 5 occupations with the highest percentage of job ads that referenced a specific HIT skill were: medical records and health information technicians, 60.4% of records; health educators, 19.5%; medical and clinical laboratory technologists, 17.0%; podiatrists and optometrists, 13.0%; medical assistants, 12.1%. Among our seven domains of HIT skills searched, the “health IT (general)” domain, comprised of search terms such as health information, health information technology, IT, or information technology, was most commonly identified (37.7% of records), and “privacy and security” (e.g., data security, cyber security, and risk analysis) was the least common domain (0.5% of records).
Conclusions: The patterns we found suggest that healthcare employers are requesting a range of HIT skills across occupations. Use of these data requires some caution and work to refine the data mining process.
This study resulted in a full report and a 2-page policy brief that can be found in the publications section of our website.
Lead Researcher: Bianca K. Frogner, PhD
Contact Info: bfrogner@uw.edu



HRSA: HWRC Allied Health






Authors Title Type Date Documents/Media
Stubbs BA, Frogner BK, Skillman SM The Value of Real Time Labor Market Information for Monitoring Health Workforce Demand: A Case Study Examining Employer Demand for Health Information Technology Skills PUBLICATION 03-01-2017
Full Report
Policy Brief
Stubbs BA, Frogner BK, Skillman SM The Value of Real Time Labor Market Information For Monitoring Health Workforce Demand: A Case Study Examining Employer Demand For Health Information Technology Skills PRESENTATION 06-24-2017 CHWS Poster_Health IT Linkup 6_16_2017
Frogner BK, Fei X Identifying Emerging Occupations in Health Care using National Language Processing PRESENTATION 11-03-2015