The pool of capable IT workers is rapidly draining as providers, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and other health-related organizations compete for the same brain power, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute.

The study, "Solving the Talent Equation for Health IT" found that 67 percent of providers were experiencing IT staffing shortages and 55 percent said that staffing shortages would negatively impact their chance to receive meaningful use dollars.

Those findings mirror results from HIMSS' most recent leadership survey, which found that 21 percent of respondents ranked a lack of staffing resources as their top barrier to implementing IT systems. Limited financial resources came in second at 15 percent.

According to the PwC survey, clinical informatics (37 percent) and systems and data integration (28 percent) were the most sought-after skills by providers. For insurers, systems and data integration (68 percent) ranked as the top priority, while 52 percent said that clinical informatics was their top need. Among drug and device companies, 40 percent said it was "important” to hire IT workers in bioinformatics and data analytics.

Here are some other highlights from the report:

  • 62 percent of providers said they are worried about the availability of skilled IT workers.
  • 51 percent of providers are worried about the speed of change in technology.
  • 66 percent of insurers said they are committed to providing providers with real-time analytics.
  • 42 percent of insurers said they are committed to providing technologies to support ACOs.