Over the next ten years, health systems will add more job’s to Oregon’s economy than any other industry. The health industry is constantly growing and changing, due to the fast advancement of medical technology.

One field of healthcare jobs where there is a significant need is allied health professionals. An allied health professional work in the delivery of health or related services, without being a nurse or doctor. A few examples of allied health professionals are dental hygienists, dieticians, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists.

Because of the continued growth of technology, there’s a growing need for jobs in artificial intelligence and data science. Healthcare workers in Oregon are working to develop solutions that require technical and analytical talent. This means jobs in artificial intelligence and advanced software engineering are growing.

There is an increased need for medical professionals who have experience with electronic health records. There continues to be significant technological improvements in this area. Electronic health records are a digital version of a patient’s medical chart.

Another area of need is for advanced nursing professionals. Nurse practitioners and physicians assistants are able to provide more care than a registered nurse, but typically not as specialized care as a physician. Nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can treat patients who have a persistent cough or the flu, which frees up time for more specialized physicians to see patients who require more focused care.

The application of information technology in healthcare, called Clinical Informatics, is also on the rise, due to the need for development and maintenance of electronic health records. Because electronic health records are being implemented in hospitals across the country, medical professionals need to have a strong grasp on how they function.

Oregon is also experiencing gaps in coverage, especially in niche specialties. Because the roles vary so much and require specific higher education and experience, it is hard to find acceptable candidates. Luckily, the state recognizes that these gaps exist and is working to help eliminate them. A grant was put in place to provide funding to individuals pursuing an education in one of the understaffed fields. The Northwest Promise grant opes to help strengthen and diversify the healthcare industry.

Healthcare in Oregon continues to be a diverse industry with a growing need for knowledge in technology and specialized medical practices.