Trends in Health Information Organization Staffing

Health information exchange (HIE) is the complex process of sharing healthcare-related information across different users and/or organizations. While the goal of HIE to connect healthcare providers electronically in order to facilitate higher quality healthcare is clear and constant, business models and implementation methods are continually evolving. Many initiatives are underway at the federal, state and local levels, and in the private sector, to foster and enable interoperable electronic health information exchange, most of which is facilitated through Health Information Exchange Organizations or Networks (HIO). Significant focus is placed on the governance, business models, policies, standards and technical infrastructure required for long-term sustainability; however, little attention is focused on the staffing of HIOs. This is an unfortunate oversight - even the most well-designed HIO cannot operate in a silo. It is therefore essential to consider current and future staffing needs of these organizations.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) formed a collaborative workgroup to analyze job opportunities and skill sets required in the HIO setting. This analysis aims to identify current environment staffing models, emerging staffing models and required skill sets to support these organizations. The results of this analysis will serve those who are seeking employment focused on data exchange or HIE activities, including those exploring opportunities in education, training and certification to enhance their knowledge and skills in this area.

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