Despite the growing need for health IT professionals, healthcare leaders are finding it increasingly difficult to fill key positions. In a survey by Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician, 58 of the surveyed executives said they have difficulty recruiting or retaining IT workers. Thirty-three percent are facing IT staffing troubles. They say the biggest reason for all this (cited by 43 percent) is a shortage of people with the required expertise in health IT. Another 23 percent blamed the high cost of experienced IT professionals. The most striking number from the survey: Only 14 percent said their employees were attending training provided by the federal government.
The training, the Community College Consortia to Educate Health Information Technology Professionals in Health Care, is meant to get 10,500 health IT professionals into the workforce by 2012. Having the professionals in place, says the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, will ensure the adoption of electronic medical records.
Where is the Training?
More than 70 community colleges across all 50 states participate in the non-degree programs, which can be completed in six months or less. The programs were developed for both health and technology professionals.
The program also trains a smaller number of IT professionals at the university level. More than 1,500 people will receive certificates of advanced study or master’s degrees in health IT. The certificate programs can be completed in one year or less, and the master’s degree programs can be completed in two years or less.
— Dino Londis