With tons of money coming into the healthcare IT ecosystem, it’s become vogue to build healthcare IT and EHR applications. When an engineer new to healthcare looks at a typical health application they think they can throw something quickly and sometimes bad advice is being given to business people who are budgeting for new projects.
I’m often asked “What human capital does it take to develop healthcare IT and EHR apps?” The answer of course is not easy nor can a single answer suffice for all projects. However, when you’re considering new or sustaining engineering projects be sure you’ve considered all the roles listed below.
- Clinicians and healthcare professionals (HCP) like docs, nurses, etc. – perhaps as consultants
- Senior project manager – about $150k per year
- User interaction engineer (UX, usability) – about $120k per year
- Mobile app developers (iOS, Android, etc.) — about $90k per year
- Database modeler and information architect (SQL) — about $150k per year
- Database administrator (SQL) – about $120k per year
- API engineer (REST / SOAP) – about $120k per year
- Service code engineers (Java, Ruby, etc.) – about $150k per year
- Security analyst and privacy engineer (HIPAA, HITECH, Sarbox, etc.) — perhaps as consultants, $175k per year
- Cloud infrastructure admins (Amazon, Eucalyptus) – about $90k per year
- Network infrastructure admin / engineer (TCP/IP, etc.) – about $120k per year
- Data integration engineers (ESB / ETL / connectors) – about $90k per year
- HL7 and healthcare data integration conformance engineers – about $90k per year
- Technical documentation specialist – about $60k per year
- Quality assurance directors (test strategy, test planning) — about $120k per year
- Quality assurance engineers (test planning, manual execution) – about $80k per year
- Quality assurance automation (automated execution) engineers – about $90k per year
- Trainers (folks with healthcare office experience plus tech knowhow) — about $60k per year
How many people you need to fill each type of role is determined by the size of your project and deliverables. The costs shown above are average costs within the USA (India and offshore are about 35% cheaper). Costs vary within the USA as well but the costs above are meant to give you enough to budget with — I hope you can see that if you’re trying to do things “right” (whatever that means) you need many different roles fulfilled. If you can find smart people that can fulfill more than one role simultaneously then you’ll able to spend less.