- Compensation for health IT professionals in provider and vendor organizations slightly increased from last year, reaching an average salary of $109,610 in 2018, according to the most recent HIMSS US Compensation Survey.
The survey of 885 health IT professionals employed by hospitals, other provider organizations, and vendors revealed that vendors paid their health IT staff more, with an average salary of $126,910.
Hospitals represented the provider organization paying their health IT professionals the most with an average salary of $108,754.
Average compensation for health IT professionals in non-acute provider organizations was $99,345 and $102,316 for other types of organizations.
The pace of salary growth for health IT professionals has consistently increased since the start of the study period in 2006. But that growth slowed after the first few years of the study’s period, researchers reported.
Compensation growth for health IT professionals primarily stemmed from salary increases in 2017, rather than bonuses. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents received a salary bump in the past 12 months, while just 34 percent earned a bonus.
Bonuses were largely reserved for health IT professionals with managerial responsibilities. About one-half of executive-level professionals reported receiving a bonus in the past 12 months and 42 percent of management-level employees earned a bonus.
Provider and vendor organizations only offered bonuses to 24 percent of non-management health IT professionals.
But health IT professionals are not overwhelmingly satisfied with their compensation despite consistent growth and the potential for a salary increase. When asked to rate their salary satisfaction on a scale of one to five with one being not at all satisfied and five being extremely satisfied, the average rating was 2.87 points.
The average rating for compensation satisfaction was slightly below moderately satisfied, researchers explained.
However, female health IT professionals were more satisfied with their compensation despite earning significantly less than their male counterparts. On average, female health IT professionals rated their satisfaction with base salary 2.91 points.
In contrast, the average satisfaction rating was 2.81 points among male health IT professionals.
Males expressed less satisfaction with their annual pay while earning 18 percent more than their female peers, the survey showed. Females earned an average compensation of $100,447, while their male counterparts received an average compensation of $123,244.
The gender pay gap equated to female health IT professionals being paid $0.82 for every $1.00 their male peers were paid.
Researchers noted that the gender pay gap among health IT professionals in provider and vendor organizations has always existed. However, the recently reported compensation disparity is back at its 2006 level after widening between 2006 and 2018.
In particular, the gender pay gap among health IT professionals was especially pronounced for women in executive and clinical management positions.
Additionally, the survey found a compensation disparity by race. The average salary of non-white health IT professionals was 12 percent less than white professionals.
Non-white health IT professionals earned an average compensation of $99,609 versus $112,926 for white employees in provider and vendor organizations.
Although, non-white health IT professionals were less satisfied with their average pay, giving salary compensation an average rating of 2.6 points versus 2.96 for white professionals.
For health IT professionals who identified as both female and non-white, average compensation was even lower. Non-white female health IT professionals reported the lowest average salaries of the four gender-racial groups studied.
Researchers advised providers organizations and vendors to explore the existing compensation disparities among health IT professionals in their organizations.
Hospitals and provider organizations, in particular, should also understand how health IT professionals are paid in vendor organizations to remain competitive and attract talent.
Health IT professionals typically made more at vendor organizations. Vendors also offered their employees more bonuses, with 78 percent of health IT professionals working for vendors earning bonuses versus 30 percent and 36 percent of employees at hospitals and non-acute organizations, respectively.
Combined with higher average compensation, vendor organizations were one of the most attractive settings for health IT professionals.
“To be competitive, other healthcare information and technology employers could benefit from the insights vendor organizations have gained from their health IT compensation practices,” the survey stated.