Many health information exchanges lack staff with strong information technology skills, but are not likely to hire graduates of a government-funded health I.T. training program, according to a report.

Advocacy organization eHealth Initiative asked several questions related to workforce issues during its 2011 survey of 196 HIEs, turning the findings into a free issue brief now available. Responding HIEs noted that jobs remain open because there are not enough candidates with appropriate I.T. experience, so HIEs often hire consultants.

Clinical software implementation and support personnel, which includes project managers, analysts, application coordinators, report writers, trainers, informatics staff and technical writers, are in the highest demand.

Very few HIEs have hired graduates of the HITECH Act-funded health I.T. workforce development programs being offered by a network of community colleges across the nation. Consequently, eHealth Initiative recommends the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT work closer with stakeholders to assess specific skills that HIEs are looking for.

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