Why Veterans Are Ideal Health IT Pros

Mike Miliard | Government Health IT | November 11, 2014

Veterans Day is a good time to recognize how returning service members have much to offer when it comes to health and IT skills. Moreover, many of them already have the necessary credentials and licensure to jump right into practice upon leaving service.  And so the American Hospital Association on Tuesday unwrapped a new resource, "Hospital Careers: An Opportunity to Hire Veterans," a toolkit developed in cooperation with the White House Joining Forces initiative that is specifically aimed at hospitals looking to hire licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and registered nurses.

The skill sets the AHA touts in veterans – the ability to work amid "crisis conditions" and in "under-resourced environments," a propensity to be "problem solvers and strategic thinkers" and the fact that they enter civilian workplaces "having worked in teams throughout their entire military service" – should be appealing to almost any hospital IT department.  Earlier this year, Government Health IT sister site Healthcare IT News ran a cover story exploring how the military and IT teams have more in common than one might think.

As chief information officers and their staffs contend with a near-constant barrage of new government regulations and management imperatives, often strapped for resources, managing new technologies as they keep vigilant against omnipresent security threats, it's hard not to reach for battlefield metaphors.  Indeed, many hospital IT managers are themselves former service members. Jonathan Manis, CIO of Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health was in the Marines. Comparing his time there to his career in health IT, "it's amazing, at least from my perspective, how similar they are," he said...