IU-Regenstrief Programs Targeted to Alleviate Shortage of Health IT Workforce
John T. Finnell View print-quality image
May 6, 2011
- Cindy Fox Aisen
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Specialized one- and two-year Indiana University graduate certificate and master’s programs designed to increase the number of health information technology specialists in Indiana and nationwide will expand enrollment by 50 percent, thanks in part to Recovery Act funding. Two of the programs will be available as distance learning opportunities.
In collaboration with the Regenstrief Institute, an internationally respected biomedical and public health informatics innovator dedicated to improving health by enhancing the quality and delivery of medical care, and the IU School of Medicine, the IU School of Informatics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is addressing the growing workforce needs for qualified health IT recruits with an array of specialized one- and two-year graduate programs offering a combination of classroom instruction, distance accessible learning opportunities, and on the job training.
These programs, initiated last year with a class of 15, are supported by a competitively awarded training grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). This $1.4 million in Recovery Act funding is part of a $118 million investment by ONC in rapidly and sustainably increasing the availability of skilled health IT professionals needed to support the widespread adoption and meaningful use of health IT.
The first class includes nurses, physicians, computer programmers and individuals from the business world. Most are already launched on an initial career, some in health care and some not. With ONC support, they are being offered a variety of coursework options and are undertaking practicums at leading regional health institutions. Many are employed full or almost full time, but are required to complete six courses and a 180-hour practicum within the calendar year.
“The incoming class, currently being recruited, will have enhanced distance accessible learning options, and we expect to see applicants from within and beyond Central Indiana take advantage of this opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to manage emerging health IT. Tuition support is available for the most qualified applicants,” said John T. Finnell, M.D., M.Sc., the Regenstrief Institute investigator and IU School of Medicine associate professor of emergency medicine who directs the IU-Regenstrief initiative, the Indiana Health Information Technology Training Collaborative (I-HITTC). He is director and associate professor of health informatics in the School of Informatics.
Six programs are available:
•Certificate in Clinical Informatics (Clinician Leader)
•Certificate in Informatics for Public Health Professionals (Public Health Leader)
•Certificate in Informatics in Health Information Management and Exchange (Health Information Management and Exchange Specialist)
•Certificate in Informatics in Health Information Security (Health Information Privacy and Security Specialist)
•Certificate in Informatics in Health Information Systems Architecture (Programmer and Software Engineer)
•Master of Science in Clinical Research (Research and Development Scientist)
Detailed information on the programs to be offered in the fall of 2011 and links to applications can be found at www.informatics.iupui.edu/HITtraining. Additional information on ONC is located at http://www.healthit.hhs.gov.