Best Practices in Recruitment for HIT

In researching best practices for recruiting and retaining top-qualified HIT candidates, Oregon Health Network turned to the Learning Based Apprentice Program at OCHIN ( OCHIN, based in Portland, Oregon, is an organization that helps providers and practices across the country select, install, and effectively use health IT.

Beyond involvement in these types of trainings, here are the bigger picture best practices they gleaned from an apprenticeship program:

  • Train them yourself: If you have the resources and capabilities, developing a training program could minimize recruiting fees while breeding loyalty. Every office and facility is unique, and training a person specifically to meet these needs allows for better control over the HIT environment.
  • Give them hands-on experience: HIT professionals need to understand the needs of their customers. The best way for them to develop this understanding is to spend time in the clinical setting.
  • Review performance and provide resources: Test weekly. Review often. Set up mentorships. Giving staff support and setting this type of stringent expectation on the program allows for better ultimate service and more highly trained, analytical talent.
  • Continue training: Technology will always be evolving, so it’s important to revisit apprentices who have been hired and continue to offer trainings and support. Make learning experiences part of your current needs to offset any workload juggling. Set benchmarks and revisit individual development programs. Create an environment open to learning new skills.
  • Do it now. Smaller organization are often presented with a “chicken and the egg” problem—growth was coming quickly, but without trained professionals, it is not possible. But without these people to take on the work, they couldn’t grow. At a certain point, it became clear that they no longer had a choice. Overcoming the initial challenges in beginning the program, they have now set themselves up to succeed in the long run.

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