Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Health IT Workforce Program

Health information technology professionals are in demand. What do you know about the Health IT Workforce Program? Here's a really quick summary:

ONC (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) has awarded $116 million in funding for the following Health IT Workforce Development Program activities:

Community College Consortia to Educate Health Information Technology Professionals: Five regional groups of 82 community colleges in all 50 states have $68 million in grants to develop or improve non-degree health IT training programs that can be completed in six months or less. The funded community colleges will help train more than 10,500 new health IT professionals by 2012. The programs are designed for professionals with an IT or health care background and focus on training students for the following professional roles:

Practice workflow and information management redesign specialists
  • Clinician/practitioner consultants
  • Implementation support specialists
  • Implementation managers
  • Technical/software support
  • Trainers
Program of Assistance for University-Based Training: Nine grants totaling $32 million have been awarded to colleges and universities to quickly establish or expand health IT training programs for health IT professional roles requiring training at the university level. The six professional roles include:
  • Clinician or public health leader
  • Health information management and exchange specialist
  • Health information privacy and security specialist
  • Research and development scientist
  • Programmers and software engineer
  • Health IT sub-specialist
Over the course of the grant, these programs will help more than 1,500 people receive certificates of advanced study or master’s degrees in health IT. All of the certificate programs can be completed in one year or less, and all of the master’s degree programs can be completed in two years or less.

Curriculum Development Centers: $10 million has been awarded to five universities for the development of educational materials for the Community College Consortia program. The materials will also be made available to other schools across the country.

Competency Examination Program: A two-year, $6 million grant has been awarded to fund the development of competency exams for health IT professionals.

Learn more here.

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