Two thirds of healthcare provides are reporting difficulty in recruiting IT staff, and among those who are able to hire, nearly 40 percent are having problems retaining technical professionals, according to a new report by global professional services company Towers Watson (TW).

According to the survey of 100 healthcare professionals, the situation becomes even more challenging when trying to attract Epic-certified professionals. The Epic software platform that supports functions related to patient care and billing systems for insurers is necessary for the new electronic medical record requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nearly 75 percent of healthcare providers report difficulty hiring this set of highly skilled workers.

"Hospitals have an urgent need for experienced, highly skilled IT professionals to ensure they can meet new government requirements and qualify for financial incentives," said TW consultant Heidi Toppel.

The difficulty in recruiting may come from a disconnect in priorities between IT workers and healthcare employers. A previous study released by TW revealed that out of five criteria listed by skilled IT workers as important to accepting a job offer, healthcare industry employers only ranked one of them, job security, as important when considering drivers of attraction for IT.

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