May 26, 2010
With demand for health information technology graduates expected to rise, the federal government is taking steps to launch new training programs throughout the country.
Vinton Today in Iowa reports that Kirkwood Community College recently received a $512,000 federal grant directed towards training programs for IT professionals in hospitals, clinical and other healthcare settings. Kirkwood is one of 17 Midwest community colleges receiving federal grants totaling $36 million for health IT training. Nationwide, 70 community colleges will be participating in the grant program.
"Changes in healthcare laws will bring big changes in how medical records are kept and communicated across the country," noted Mike McLaughlin, director of Kirkwood health occupations, who was quoted by Vinton Today. "There is going to be a tremendous ongoing need for people to learn how to develop, maintain and use electronic health information systems. This funding will allow us to get a team of qualified, prepared trainers active across our region and make these advances and changes more manageable across our whole healthcare system."
"Everything is moving toward electronic medical records management, but many workplaces are still operating with paper systems," explained Joyce S. Waters, the school's program director, in the Journal Constitution. "We teach both, so that our students are prepared to function regardless of the situation."
Oregon Health & Science University, meanwhile, will be receiving a total of $5.8 million in funding for three programs, reports Modern Healthcare: More than 1.8 million to develop curricula for community colleges to train healthcare IT workers, nearly $3.1 million for advanced training to medical professional in healthcare informatics, and $900,000 for serving as the National Training and Dissemination Center for the curriculum development program.
Modern Healthcare also notes that many more health IT workers will be needed in the future. "Our data show a 95 percent placement rate," said Claire Dixon-Lee, executive director of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, "but we aren't producing them fast enough."
Compiled by CityTownInfo.com Staff
"50,000 New Health IT Workers Might Be Needed," Modern Healthcare, May 25, 2010, Joseph Conn
"Demand for Health Information Technology Graduates on the Rise," Atlanta Journal Constitution, May 25, 2010, Laura Raines
"Training for a New Health Care Information Era," Vinton Today, May 25, 2010, Steve Carpenter