In the aftermath of the global pandemic, the healthcare industry continues to grow and adapt. As a result, the technology supporting healthcare is also growing and evolving.
There are a number of key trends in healthcare IT that are prompting a demand for a variety of specialized talent. Below is a collection of these trends and their implications for hiring in healthcare next year.
Healthcare is a ‘target rich’ environment for cyber-attacks. Meaning, because of the volume of valuable data and the amount each healthcare record can fetch, healthcare has long been a target for cybercrime. What makes it a trend to watch for in 2022 is the ongoing sophistication of attacks and the increasingly digital nature of the healthcare industry. Artificial intelligence and automation are key priorities for healthcare organizations looking to secure their technology infrastructure. The demand for those with AI, automation and infrastructure experience in a healthcare context will continue to be in great demand, as they have been throughout this year.
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
M&A activity continues to be strong within the healthcare sector. In 2022, as the industry continues to consolidate, more organizations will look to sophisticate technologically in order to make these transactions easier. It is hard to assimilate legacy systems that have not been updated in a long time or systems that are generally incompatible or difficult to work with. There will be a demand for tech talent that have experience across an array of healthcare systems, specifically those who have upgraded or implemented new systems in an M&A context.
TELEHEALTH AND THE HEALTHTECH REVOLUTION
The burgeoning telehealth movement mirrors what consumers are looking for in almost every facet of life – more convenience and flexibility. COVID-19 ushered in a new reliance on virtual care delivery as well as innovations across all of healthtech. This dependency, while piqued during the pandemic, will only continue to sophisticate. What grew out of necessity has quickly become the ‘new norm’; patients, who otherwise may have been more skeptical of telehealth, have all but adopted – and now expect – virtual options as part of their care. As a result, the healthcare sector as a whole will need to continue modernizing and digitizing. This will require everything from user experience (UX) designers to software developers to customer enablement and analytics tech pros.
HEALTHCARE CONTACT CENTERS
When you look at a healthcare organization on the whole, the contact center is arguably one of the most critical pieces of the business. In addition to consumers, or patients, doctors and physicians, nurses and a variety of case managers and healthcare affiliates call in and interact with the contact center. How communications in this centralized hub can be streamlined and improved is big business. In 2022, healthcare organizations will look to continue improving and innovating this critical business function by investing in technology like chat bots, integrated voice response and the like.
More and more healthcare organizations are looking to move their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. Despite being around for a while, the healthcare migration to the cloud is happening today. The pandemic sped up a lot of the pending technology improvements that have long been considered in healthcare; historically, however, the sector has been slow to adopt new technologies – including the cloud. Today, cloud technology has become an imperative – not only because more providers and patients are remote from one another, and cloud technology makes it easier to transact things like virtual care, but because of some of the other aforementioned trends, like M&A activity and the healthtech evolution. Cloud experts will continue to be in demand in 2022.
HEALTH DATA INTEROPERABILITY
More healthcare organizations are being required to share more data, and this is creating demand for the creation of interoperability platforms – where data can be pulled in and offered to different business units, both internal and external to the originating healthcare organization. This trend is really just starting to take shape and more and more technology experts are going to be needed to see it through to fruition.
In the first half of 2021, the healthcare industry experienced a boom as services were offered once again after the initial COVID-19 shutdown. The ‘Great Resignation’ that has been taking place across all industries has nearly doubled the quit rate in healthcare. All of this coupled with the already existing talent shortage in healthcare has created an incredible supply and demand imbalance across the industry as we close out 2021.
In healthcare technology specifically, all of this is magnified as healthcare and technology talent, let alone those who have experience in both, are in extremely high demand. In 2022 we are going to see ongoing demand for core technology skill sets, like developers, as they are needed on a variety of fronts – from infrastructure to cybersecurity to software.
My advice to healthcare organizations looking to hire technology talent in 2022: Plan ahead (as much as possible) and start the search early. It is a talent market and there is much work to be done.