The HIT Labor Force: Leading Trends From the Year That Was

Industry executives were surveyed on a variety of issues related to salary, job

satisfaction, responsibilities, and more By Rajiv Leventhal


new survey, conducted over recent months by Healthcare Innovation, and inclusive of 120

senior healthcare and healthcare IT executives, has revealed a collection of insights into industry professionals’ salary trends, compensation satisfac- tion levels, feelings on job security, and more. The researchers included responses

from various titles in the healthcare executive space, including chief infor- mation officers (CIOs), chief executive officers (CEOs), chief medical officers (CMOs), clinical informatics direc- tors, directors of health information management (HIM), and more. The publication has conducted this survey going back several years; the findings revealed the following year-over-year average salary trends, broken down by position.

Looking at other salary trends, 65 percent of respondents reported that



Director HIM Director/VP Clinical Informatics

with the notion that they were satis- fied with their compensation, and this sample’s average salary came in at just over $111,000 annually. Meanwhile, 33 percent of individu- als said that they do anticipate receiv- ing a bonus as part of this year’s com- pensation, while 55 percent said they do not expect one, and 13 percent said they were unsure if they will get one. Hillary Ross, managing partner and leader of executive search firm Witt- Kieffer’s information technology prac- tice, who focuses on identifying CIOs, CISOs, chief digital officers and other IT leaders for all kinds of healthcare organizations, notes that her practice has seen the value of CIOs’ compen- sation, as well as their direct reports, expand in recent years as these respec- tive roles have continued to evolve. “Historically, the CIO, sometimes known as the vice president of tech- nology or CTO, was looked to just

Average Salary 2019

$191,083 $164,179 $90,417 $120,312

their base salary has increased over the last 12 months, 32 percent said that it has remained the same, while 3 per- cent noted that their base salary has gone down. Of those who said their base salary had increased, 72 percent reported that the cause of that surge was due to job performance. These salary trend figures remained essen- tially stagnant year-over-year. What’s more, 56 percent of folks said they would either agree or strongly agree that they are satis- fied with their overall compensation, with the average annual salary of the “pleased” respondents being $137,000. Twenty-six percent of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed

Average Salary 2018

$138,998 $118,240 $87,166 $93,055

‘keep the lights on.’ As technology has become critical to the strategic busi- ness goals of the organization, and lit- erally touching on virtually all aspects of the healthcare organization, the role of the CIO and his or her direct reports have been elevated along with their compensation,” Ross notes. “Also, we are seeing physicians in CMIO posi- tions transition to the CIO role and bring unique value given their clinical backgrounds, thus, affecting compen- sation,” she adds.

Job security, role, and top challenges Broken down by organization type, 68 percent of survey respondents work in

either a local/multi-state integrated delivery network (IDN), or a stand- alone hospital, while 10 percent work for a group practice.

Drilling down into specific job functions and responsibilities—par- ticularly as it relates to their involve- ment in selecting vendors, and buy- ing products and services—half of respondents said they evaluate the vendor options that can provide the solution, while 40 percent said that they determine the business need and recommend specific brands or products. Notably, 31 percent of those sur-

veyed revealed that their organization will be looking to replace or upgrade their electronic health record (EHR) system in the next year. About one in four (27 percent) said they won’t be looking to replace or improve any product or service in that same timeframe.

In terms of how long respondents have worked in healthcare or health- care IT in their current organizations, nearly half (48 percent) have been there at least 10 years, with one in six having worked at their respective company for more than 25 years. Irre- spective of their current organization, 83 percent of respondents have been working in the industry for at least 10 years.

Almost half of surveyed folks (49

percent) said they feel very secure in their current role, while another 39 percent said they feel somewhat secure. About 12 percent of respon- dents reported that they feel insecure in their current position. Moving forward, when asked what their most pressing challenge is for the year ahead, 34 percent reported cost cutting as a top issue, while 33 percent said EHR implementation and/or compliance and growth was a primary challenge. One in four respondents noted data analytics/management and data security as a top challenge, while one in five noted interoperabil- ity. Folks were able to choose more than one issue for this question. HI


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