Health Information Technology and outsourcing

i wasn’t sure where to post this. i didn’t want to clutter up the main question form since this question isn’t factual but speculative. can anyone give me some advice on if a career in Health Information Technology is good or will be at risk of being outsourced? the job involves access to patient information, dealing with documents that relate to billing and the physician getting paid, etc.

I work in IT for a large healthcare organization. I can only speak from personal experience, but I’d say that risk of outsourcing is less in healthcare than in many industries. Security concerns, especially HIPAA regulations, are probably a bit part of that. In fact, where I work the shift in recent years has actually been to bring IT back in-house. Previously, much of our organization’s IT staff were contractors, but currently those positions are for the most part held by FTEs.

Of course, these things do tent to be somewhat cyclical, so it may just be that we are on the “keep everything in-house” section of the curve…or it could be that my company does things drastically differently than the rest of the industry…but in my 12 years here the only ‘danger’ to IT staff has been due to across-the-board staff reductions related to the tanking of the economy. There has never been an issue with outsourcing.

What sort of position are you referring to? In my experience, “IT” encompasses a very broad range of skills: Systems administration, security, application support, operations, etc. Some positions translate well to other industries (network/system administration), while others are very Healthcare-specific (Epic application support). What sort of position you are interested in might factor into the equation.

I work for a healthcare IT company, and we recently outsourced a large portion of our standard IT functions (SA, DBA, etc.). Of course, we are also in the business of handling IT outsourcing for our customers, so turn around is fair play. :slight_smile:

I would say that healthcare IT, in general, is about 10 years+ behind the IT curve, and so may be at risk of more outsourcing than a typical IT company that tried outsourcing 10 years ago.

From a HIPAA perspective, there is no reason an offshore company cannot be a covered entity. The stickiness comes in relation to dealing with access to CMS systems. As Suburban Plankton says, detailing what job you are looking at may assist in determining you risk of being outsourced.