Our IT systems are a mess! All the departments have their own solutions! No one talks! And our data definitely does not talk! Help!
If you’re anything like the average hospital or health organization, then you have a serious need for some help with getting your IT systems, data, and EHR meshing together. Where do you find the people to help you without breaking the bank?
From within your organization, of course.
In this post we’ll talk about how you can sidestep the problem of too many openings, too few applicants and instead nurture the talent that already exists within your organization.
The Best Talent Comes From Within
Your folks already know your systems, your workflows, your processes. They’ve dealt with the nuances of the systems you have in place and surely have their own complaints and proposed solutions to the problem. Why not use their knowledge to your advantage?
The real question is, how do you find the talent within your organization and nurture it into a beautiful and thriving informatics division? Here are some ideas for your organization to get started in finding the talent you already have.
As they say, if you don’t ask, then you’ll never know. So, we say, ask around to see if any of your staff has an interest in working as a clinical informaticist. Ask the nurses, ask the docs, ask the admin staff, ask the IT staff. They all have skill sets that when combined will work to form a complementary team that can handle the oftentimes complicated and multi-faceted approach to informatics.
You can do this in many ways. Mass email, all-hands meetings, via flyer or printed memo, and through word of mouth are the first things that come to mind. What works best for your organization is best for you to decide.
Get the word out there, but also be sure to provide reassurance that if people volunteer for the position, then they won’t be penalized by their supervisor for spending time on these clinical informatics projects or for leaving their current post for a new one all together. This approach will also require some education of the managers or development of a set of guidelines for those who work on projects part time.
Get the Techies Together with the Nurses
Informatics is as if workflow management and IT systems got together and made a baby. While you would have never expected them to get together, they did, and now that baby is kicking and screaming and its your job to take care of it.
Informatics requires a deep understanding of the workflows and processes within your organization, as well as the technical knowledge needed to integrate multiple data sources and infrastructure pieces. By getting together the two groups to tackle specific informatics goals within the organization, you’ll be able to see where the problems lie within the organization.
This will be a painful step, as the two groups usually have a hard time understanding each other, but once they learn how to work as a team and that one side isn’t trying to take down the other, then great things can happen. Meetings should have a specific goal, agenda, and facilitator to dissect problems as a team and facilitate an understanding of both the technical and clinical sides and their perceived issues and solutions.
Another option to develop talent is to train them internally. While internal training has fallen off the wayside in recent years due to cost and availability of personnel, hiring from outside may be the more expensive option in this case. However, with the adoption of massively open online courses, there is sure to be a class to fit the needs of your employees. Here are some examples that are free (FREE!) for organizations to use.
- Health Informatics Forum
- Big Data Applications and Analytics
- Interprofessional Healthcare Informatics
- Health Informatics in the Cloud
We hope we’ve put some ideas in your head for how to nurture your internal informatics talent. Perhaps you have a few ideas rolling around your mind right now. We’d love to hear them in the comments section!