Enacting reform will require workers beyond docs and BSNs

Workers without a bachelor’s degree, such as nursing aides, LPNs and radiological technicians, could and should play a bigger role in health care as the industry transforms, according to a report from the Brookings Institution. The report, “Part of the Solution: Pre-Baccalaureate Healthcare Workers in a Time of Health System Change,” suggests that research and evaluation be done to redesign the role of such workers. The report also recommends that state regulation of health care occupations be rationalized so that a team-based approach can be developed and implemented more easily.

Cool reception to IOM’s proposed GME overhaul

An Institute of Medicine panel issued a series of proposed changes to how graduate medical education is governed and financed, a move that spurred some in the hospital field to voice concerns. The recommendations suggest that funding under the current system be shifted to performance-based GME payments. “Whether overt or under the guise of better training for doctors, you are talking about significant reductions in funding,” says Richard Silver, M.D., chief academic officer and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology services at NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Ill. Silver’s concerns echo those from key hospital groups, including the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Hospital Association.

Demand increases for health IT pros

The need for health information technology workers grew sharply in a number of areas, according to the Health Information and Management Systems Society 2014 Workforce Survey, which came out late last month. Data showed that 64 percent of respondents cited hiring clinical application support as a key area of need, up from 51 percent in 2013. Help desk was ranked as the second biggest need, with 57 percent of respondents calling it out, up from 51 percent. Those identifying IT management as a key need rose to 45 percent up from 29 percent. All of the categories in the survey showed growth, according to the report’s data.