Hospitals - You Might Never Solve the IT Skills Gap Issue, But…

3.30.18 By Matthew Stoltz



…you can still take action to advance your digital agenda.


Filling tech resource gaps for hospitals is a double-edged sword.


On one hand, you’re under pressure to find resources to meet project goals and deadlines. On the other hand, you need to train those resources to be able to apply their work to your operations.


Choices, choices.


In general, most hospitals go with one of the following:

  1. Hire temps: They know the tech, but you need to train them to learn your business
  2. Outsource: They also know the tech but, again, you need to train them to learn your business. Plus, the biggest organizations often dictate terms, and offshore vendors won’t take the time to learn about your operational goals
  3. Hire more full-time resources: right, if it were that easy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation


There’s still a resource problem, and there will always be gaps. It’s the nature of the tech industry. A skill might be obsolete by the time someone learns to apply it.


The key to not spending an eternity spinning your wheels like Sisyphus is adaptation, and it’s cultural.


Before we get ahead of ourselves, and you think that you’ll need to build an entire IT training center (who does that?), take a look at the most prevalent skills gaps today, and see if any of them are familiar.



Top Skills Gaps in Healthcare

Strayer@Work conducted a skills gap analysis in healthcare. Some of the most technical skills, such as enterprise software and programming, database administration, and program management, reveal sizable talent shortages. Here’s a list of the top skills gaps


Skill  Gap Shortage
Enterprise software  75%
Programming 65%
Strategy  54%
Analysis 51%
Database administration 45%
Cross-functional team leadership 40%
Project management  37%
Process improvement 29%
Oncology 19%
Clinical Trials 18%
Biotechnology 14%
Pharmaceutical-specific IT  12%


The list goes on. Google “Hospital IT Skills Gaps” and you’ll find the same types of articles dating back to 2009 (and probably even before - we stopped counting).



What to Do?


To start, shake off the doom-and-gloom feelings about filling resource gaps and take a proactive approach.

  1. Build training centers
    1. Hire (or assign) top-notch senior executives to begin training your teams
    2. Build a culture of ongoing training excellence. It’ll take a few years, but will be worth it
  1. Find a partner who;
    1. Already has an established culture of continuous training
    2. Has proven track record in hospital operational IT
    3. Who can help you build training centers
    4. And who can close your most immediate gaps now, while providing leadership support to drive future strategy


Notice how we eliminated temps and short-term outsourcing – because they both contribute to the repeated problems of why so many IT projects fall behind.


You’re not going to completely solve the skills gap dilemma, but you can find a partner to help you work through your digital agendas, and, you know, improve patient care.



Here’s Our Pitch (and why it matters)


4th Source is offering free consultations for hospitals who want to fill skills gaps now – and who'd like to ditch the frustration and advance their overall IT objectives.


We’ve been in the IT adaptation business for over fourteen years, which is why it only took six weeks to replace an under-performing offshore vendor for one of the top Children's Research Hospitals in the country. What started as Cerner development, quickly led to managing their entire outsource portfolio of thirteen projects. 


Let's talk about progressing your digital agenda:


Yes, it means picking up your Motorola pager, or whatever more recent communication device you prefer.

 Hospitals still use these!

I have to go. I have an urgent page from 1997.Photo credit: Rock Health


Yes, it means speaking with *gasp* hospital technologists to address your specific problems.

And yes, it means the potential of solving whatever is holding back your IT agenda.


Or you can spend another ten years researching “Hospital IT Skills Gaps” online, but at that point, the tech we’re using today will be obsolete.


Let's talk – the only risk is sticking to what you’re already doing.


A Glimpse at 4th Source’s Latest Training Investments


The journey of any IT agenda is often disrupted by the challenge of meeting new customer demand, being responsive, and keeping pace with technological advancements. Adaptation is key, and we are excited to showcase our upcoming training initiatives.


A Pegasystems Center of Excellence

Pega is a driving force of transformation in many industries. We have invested in a Pega center of excellence, initially to help a customer modernize pharmaceutical distribution systems. Our teams’ skills continue to grow in Pegasystems healthcare framework technology that improves the quality, speed and timelines of life-saving pharmaceutical deliveries.

However, many of our customers in diverse areas such as retail distribution and insurance claims processing also use Pega.


A BIOVIA Discoverant Center of Excellence

We are adding to our capabilities in BIOVIA Discoverant, the process manufacturing tool used to develop quality biotechnology pharmaceuticals. In late 2017, we established the Discoverant Center of Excellence to train and certify our team on this critical technology and meet the needs of our pharmacy customers.


The Expansion of ServiceNow Capabilities

4th Source established ServiceNow services in 2014, and we are continuing to expand ServiceNow capabilities,  providing our partners with 24X7X365 service desk support and ITOM (IT operations management) solutions. ITOM is key when connecting ServiceNow to business operations and is a core component of successful implementations.


4th Source will be attending Knowledge18, and we hope to see you there. If you haven’t already, check out John Duchock’s ServiceNow implementation guide: How to Build (or Fix) a ServiceNow Instance That’s Right for Your Business.




4th Source provides powerful, cost-effective IT services as an alternative to offshore outsourcing. Headquartered in Tampa, FL, 4th Source employs over 500 people in the US and Mexico, and helps performance-driven businesses become digital strong with IT services, business process services, data services, and application development.


The hybrid nearshore-onshore model offers convenient proximity, similar time zones, efficiency gains, and significant cost savings. Inc. Magazine has recognized 4th Source as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. six times.