Monthly Archives: July 2017

How Can A Healthcare Informatics Professional Improve A Healthcare Facility?

As a medical professional with a masters in health informatics, one would be tasked with documenting, storing, managing and using the available medical data to improve the condition of healthcare facilities at an institution. In fact, their roles have now become indispensable in any modern facility as the systems associated with managing data are becoming more and more complex with each passing day. To understand how the health information specialists are instrumental in shaping a better tomorrow for patients and the healthcare industry as a whole, let us discuss the following points.

Diversity in Knowledge and Practice

During an online MSHI degree course, a student has to go through diverse fields of study which will include but are not limited to IT security, database management, information systems, medical coding and, of course, relevant healthcare studies. They use all of this knowledge and the associated training in combination with each other to locate, organize, store, interpret, secure, and utilize massive volumes of medical data on a regular basis. As one can imagine, this essentially makes an expert HI professional one of the most important people in any medical facility.

What Else Can They Do Other than Sorting Data?

Every good HI professional does much more than just sorting medical data, even though that in itself is a very demanding job. The following are a few examples of what else the Health Informaticist often brings to the table when they join an establishment.

  • Data analysis that help administrators take decisions
  • Suggestion and development of various new improvements in terms of patient experience on the basis of data interpretation
  • Suggestion and development of strategies to cut down on expenses based on intel, data, and collaboration from other departments at the facility
  • Development and implementation of systems that measure how effective the current system of patient care is, based strictly on data
  • Interpretation and communication of medical data across departments for smoother and faster workflow

Growing Demand

The demand for healthcare informaticists are at an all-time high as more and more positions for health information resource managers, clinical data analysts, IT consultants and Health Information directors are opening up. Hiring agencies mainly include government hospitals, private hospitals, clinics, government/private agencies, and consulting firms. Technology is now an inseparable part of medical science and without the people with knowledge in multiple departments, it is slowly becoming an impossible task to manage everything efficiently.

As healthcare informatics is an interdisciplinary field of study, most experts suggest that future professionals should opt for an online program as it allows them to complete the necessary training while completing another course in some other field. For example, a trained nurse who has also completed an online MSHI program doesn’t only have much better career opportunities in the future but he/she can also become an asset to any organization. The only thing to keep in mind is that the degree should always be completed from a reputable university with the necessary affiliations that ensure quality education.

How to choose a social media platform

Social media platforms massively changed how people connect and share. In June 2017, Facebook announced that there are 2 billion registered users.  Worldwide, there are 7.5 billion people.  Approximately 27% of the human population is on Facebook.  Across all social media platforms, there are 2.8 billion users.  That’s 37% of the human population on social media. In the United States, 83% of Americans have at least one social media account.
Given these numbers, healthcare organizations of all sizes should use social media as part of a strategic recruitment plan.  Before moving forward, organizations should consider certain factors when identifying what role social media will play in recruiting efforts.

Platform Choice
There are dozens of options for social media platforms. Before deciding, leaders should research the benefits and drawbacks of each.  Organizations should also consider how they will use social media in their recruiting efforts.  These answers will help drive the decision making around platform choice.
Facebook has the most users, and it offers powerful targeting options.  Many organizations enjoy the ability to target certain audiences with their Facebook ads.  The platform recently started offering Facebook Jobs.  Since it is still new, many organizations (and candidates) haven’t fully embraced it yet.
As the most popular professional social media platform, LinkedIn is used by many healthcare recruiters.  When users are on LinkedIn, they are usually seeking to connect professionally.  Although smaller than Facebook, LinkedIn has an audience of over 500 million users.
Choosing a social media platform will naturally limit the available audience.

Users Location
Location does not matter if an organization aims to increase their number of followers.  Although many marketers consider follower count to be a vanity metric, there are still some organizations who want to have a lot of followers.  Instead organizations should work to engage with their followers. A highly engaged smaller audience can be more powerful than a large disengaged audience.
Generally, healthcare organizations will want to build an audience that includes a large number of people from their local region.  Most jobs in healthcare require employees to be on site.  By building a local audience, recruiters can more effectively use social media to target candidates who are in their local area.
Although an organization will want to have a mostly local audience, out of area visitors can provide an important resource.  Perhaps these people used to live in the area, and still support the organization.  People in this group could also share information and refer people (and qualified candidates) to the organizations.


Resources
Statista. Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of April 2017, Ranked by Number of Active Users (in Millions.) https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/  Accessed June 26, 2017.
Walters, Kendall. 125+ Essential Social Media Statistics Every Marketer Should Know, Hootsuite, 30 November 2016. https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/. Accessed June 26, 2017.

Should I Hire a Physician Recruiter?

Question: My organization has an open position.  Should I hire a physician recruiter to help me fill this role?Recruiter
Answer:  It depends.  While physician recruiting firms provide an important service, they may not be the best choice in all situations.
In the 1980s, physician recruiters were staffed to respond to a national physician shortage.  The original need for their role has disappeared, but physician recruiters are still an integral part of the healthcare system. Usually, physician recruiting firms will work on a retained or contingency basis.  Although the names do not mean much to the average person, there are important differences.
Retained firms typically charge a retainer and placement fees.  These firms work closely with organizations, and will usually have an ongoing relationship with the company.  Contingency firms typically charge placement fees, and may only work with an organization once.  Both types of recruiters will be familiar with local market needs.  Hiring a physician recruiter is expensive.  Although costs vary, some estimates suggest that it could cost around $20,000 to fill one open role.
Physician recruiting firms offer an important service that may make sense for certain healthcare organizations.  Here are some things to consider when evaluating if it makes sense for your office.

  1. Recruiters bring qualified candidates to the employer.When you hire a physician recruiter, you do not have to worry about managing job postings or receiving applications.The recruiter takes care of that.
  2. Consider the role that you’re trying to fill.Is it a role where there are already a lot of interested candidates?Or are you having trouble identifying qualified candidates using your current methods?Some organizations struggle to recruit candidates in particular fields or into specific locations. Physician recruiters could work with your organization to identify the particular needs, and find candidates who are qualified in the needed fields (and interested in a particular location.)
  3. Consider the staff hours that it will take to publicize a job, review resumes, interview, and hire a candidate.Can you commit enough staff hours to properly complete the interview and hiring process?If that’s not possible, it may make sense to work with a recruiting firm.
  4. Every recruiter is different.It may take time to find one that you would like to partner with.LinkedIn is a great resource to use to identify physician recruiters in your areas.Another resource is the directory on the National Association of Physician Recruiters website.

Resources

McDonnell, Sepi. When you SHOULD use a Physician Recruiter. Fidelis Partners. 12 September 2011.   http://fidelismp.com/when-you-should-use-a-physician-recruiter-2/ Accessed May 30, 2017.
National Association of Physician Recruiters. 2017 http://napr.org/ (Accessed May 30, 2017)
Roth, Gary. Contingency Physician Recruiting? What a SCAM! 8 September 2015, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/contingency-physician-recruiting-what-scam-gary-a-roth
Staff Care: An AMN Healthcare Company. Best Practices for Working with a Physician Recruitment Firm. 22 April 2016. (https://www.staffcare.com/best-practices-working-with-physician-recruitment-firms/?mobile=0) Accessed May 30, 2017.