The Office of National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT has expressed a need for an additional 51,000 health IT workers over the next 5 years. The drivers are HITECH and the Meaningful Use requirements.
To put that in perspective, in 2007, there were an estimated 108,000 health IT workers in the US . The conclusion: There is a significant requirement to train and encourage people to engage in a health IT career.
The Federal government is lending a hand in promoting the health IT career by issuing $120 million in grants for colleges to develop and offer a health IT curriculum. So, what will be the curriculum? The ONC will issue a grant to five colleges to build out the health IT curriculum, but it will include the following areas:
- History of Health Information Technology in the U.S.
- Health Management Information Systems
- Working with Health IT Systems
- Networking and Health Information Exchange
- Quality Improvement
- Usability and Human Factors
- Intro to Healthcare and Public Health
- The Culture of Healthcare
- Terminology in Healthcare and Public Health Settings
- Introduction to Information and Computer Science
- Installation and Maintenance of Health IT Systems
- Fundamentals of Health Workflow
- Configuring EHRs
- Public Health IT
- Special Topics Course on Vendor-Specific Systems
- Customer Service in the Health Environment
- Working in Teams
- Planning, Management and Leadership for Health IT
- Introduction to Project Management
- Training and Instructional Design
There are probably several comments which can be made about the health IT curriculum structure. Only two quick comments, though. First, who will train the health IT workforce? There is some concern about the availability of teachers. In any case, ensuring the courses are taught in a real-world way will be critical. Second, although one of the curriculum items is Networking and Health Information Exchange, what about healthcare standards? It could be incorporated into the Health Information Exchange portion of the curriculum. Of course, with the many healthcare standards, there could be a 20 point curriculum just for this topic. With the essential nature of healthcare interoperability within Meaningful Use, it seems that some basic understanding of healthcare standards would be needed.
If you are looking for a new career, Uncle Sam needs you! There will be a health IT program coming to a college near you…
Latest posts by Jon Mertz (see all)
- 5 things I learned in 10 years in healthcare - June 14, 2016
- Millennials on a Mission: Health IT Leader, Jenny Sabol - February 3, 2016
- Giving #HITthanks. Share Your Health IT Gratitude! - November 24, 2014