6 new HIT positions in 2012

By Michelle McNickle
11:18 AM

By now, we know health IT professionals will need certain skills to make it big in 2012. But according to Guillermo Moreno, vice president of recruiting firm Experis, new positions springing up in health IT are calling for an even broader range of talents and abilities.

From social media gurus to CKOs, certain positions not commonly seen in the market will make a bigger impact in the year to come. Moreno spotlights six HIT positions to watch in 2012. 

1. The CMIO (chief medical information officer). Some of these positions may not be new, said Moreno, but their growth within the industry is required to meet “the reality of needs.” For example, he said, “we’re continuing to see big growth for the need [of a CMIO] inside a healthcare organization. And, interestingly enough, in some instances, a migration because of the need to bridge clinical practice with IT.” Moreno said that in the past, the CIO “grew through the ranks of healthcare” because of the growing complexity of the market. “Like meaningful use and quality measures,” he said. “There is a closer affinity to clinical practice, so the role of the CMIO is one that’s going to increase over time. We’ll see people who bridge both sides, from a IT background and an understanding of IT along with clinical relevance.”

2. The CKO (chief knowledge officer). “The CKO is someone who understands how to manage this massively growing database of information these organizations are collecting,” said Moreno. “They need to know what it means to use it and present it, so an organization can make solid decisions around whatever they’re focusing on.” The CKO also needs to look at clinical practice and view it against whatever mandate or procedures and requirements are associated with the care. For example, "accountable care,” said Moreno. “They need to look at what’s going to be associated with expensive reimbursements versus not expensive reimbursements and outcomes, all while guiding the organization through a process of understanding where they stand and how to better align themselves.” 

[See also: ACOs don't have to be daunting, according to experts .]

3. The social media guru. Although healthcare isn’t entirely onboard yet with social media, said Moreno, leaders are recognizing it as an important tool to engage listeners and consumers in their regions. The industry is bound to see more social media and communication professionals taking the spotlight in healthcare and helping organizations understand how to navigate external and internal media sites, he said. “This includes marketing and patient portals, with social media activity in context to that."

4. ACO and HIE leaders. Accountable care organizations and health information exchanges are two “fronts” in the industry that have yet to see significant leadership, said Moreno. “They don’t have a lot of history in healthcare, and there aren’t a lot of people who understand the context for this,” he said. Having someone who can help an organization put together an ACO, for example, is key. “So from a leadership strategy and a project management perspective,” added Moreno. “This is something I think is coming within the next three to five years.”

[See also: CKO emerges amid healthcare data explosion.]

5. Informatics experts. With business intelligence and analytics becoming increasingly important, Moreno said we’re bound to see a need for leaders in informatics integration. The industry is starting to see a higher degree of attention on finding newer and more aggressive BI and analytics tools, which, in turn, will call for, “analysts, HL7 developers, designers, integrators,” said Moreno. “This is a very strong need moving forward in the whole space for BI and analytics, as we look to measurement and criteria around healthcare.”

6. Clinical and revenue analysts. Finally, Moreno said to look for a "whole slew of clinical and revenue analysts.” According to him, these professionals should understand both types of information and what impact it has on mandates such as ICD-10. “These are areas that are going to be in high demand in the next four years or so,” he said. 

Follow Michelle McNickle on Twitter @Michelle_writes

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