Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) Workforce Study: Final Report. Conclusions

09/19/2007

Assuming a 5-year time frame for NHIN implementation, about 7,600 (+/- 3,700) specialists are needed for installation of EHRs for the approximately 400,000 practicing physicians who do not have them already. For the hospitals needing EHRs (about 4,000), approximately 28,600 specialists are needed. Finally, about 420 people are needed to build the health information infrastructure systems in communities to interconnect all these EHR systems.

These estimates are admittedly imprecise and preliminary, and should be interpreted in the light of the numerous limitations of the current research (Table IV). Since no quantitative data is available regarding the existing NHIN workforce, it is not possible at this time to determine whether these workforce needs are indicative of a shortage of personnel. In addition, further research is needed to determine the accuracy and reliability of these estimates. Nevertheless, these first-ever estimates of the NHIN workforce requirements will provide critical help and guidance in our ongoing efforts to bring the benefits of electronic health information to all Americans.

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