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As the business of healthcare continues to become progressively complex and competitive, healthcare is becoming increasingly aware of what other industry sectors already knew and that is, if used properly, IT can be a competitive advantage for business. The good news for healthcare information technology (HIT) professionals is that the law of supply and demand translates into better starting salaries, salary increases, and bonuses as the limited job pool possess skills needed to work in healthcare IT.

As an industry, healthcare has a long history of managing the complexities of competition between healthcare providers for the best and brightest clinicians, researchers, and therapists. However, healthcare, like any other industry, must also be competitive as a business in an increasingly complicated and regulated environment.


If it has not embraced the idea yet, healthcare management is learning that it has the same growing need for expertise in the areas of big data and analytics, informatics, mobile computing, cloud computing, and security as other non-healthcare related organizations. This puts healthcare under pressure to hire, train, and retain Information Technology resources with specific skill sets. When those skills are in high demand and short supply, healthcare must compete, not only with other healthcare organizations, but also with the world in general.


In a Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2013 compensation survey that included 1,160 responses, the average salary of a sample of 1,126 healthcare IT professionals was $113,269. The range of positions in the survey included "staff" positions that showed an average annual salary of $86,536 (up 3.74%) through Executive Management with an average salary of $189,435 (up 6.10%). Overall, 71.6% of those who responded received an average salary increase of 4.16%.

As expected in a salary survey, ranges and averages varied based on geographic region, by an organization's revenue, and by the business type. An unexpected number was the average salary by years in position, with the average for someone with 20 or more years ($110,941) being less than the average for someone who had been on the job less than a year ($113,521).


Not surprisingly, IT consulting firms had the second highest average salaries ($141,818) with the second largest pay increase. The largest percentage increase in salary was for IT positions in ambulatory facilities with less than 10 physicians. At 7.98%, it still showed the lowest average salary ($79,482) with a salary gap of almost 16% compared to the next highest level of $94,193 for payers.

The report did not break down salaries to specific job positions but generally, with the reported increases by the survey, it does show the overall trend for healthcare IT salaries continues to rise.


Bill Oliver has been working in Healthcare for the past 30+ years in a variety of management roles including Material Management, Purchasing, Nurse Registry, and IT. In the past 12 years his focus 


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