ARRA - HITECH Workforce and HIM Education
The ARRA legislation provides unprecedented opportunities for the health information management profession to demonstrate unique skill sets. HIM professionals have expertise in the following areas that coordinate with the needs in ARRA:
- Workflow analysis and development
- Improved data integrity
- HIT implementation
- Quality measurement and reporting
- Privacy and security
In order to support the increased needs of EHR implementation, quality measurement and reporting, and privacy and security HIM professionals will serve as the core foundation to support these requirements. The rigorous HIM accredited degree program and certificate programs prepare these professionals for the requirements outlined in ARRA.
In an effort to promote the adoption of the health information technology, a provision within ARRA for workforce development identifies health information management as a valued resource. The ability to meet the meaningful use priorities for e-prescribing, health information exchange and quality measure reporting will require a skilled workforce.
Community College Consortia to Educate Health Information Technology Professionals in Health Care Program
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) established the Community College Consortia to Educate Health Information Professionals to help address the growing demand for highly skilled health IT specialists.
The Community College Consortia is part of the Health IT Workforce Development Program, administered by ONC. The consortia comprises five regional groups of more than 70 member community colleges in all 50 states. These community colleges received $36 million in grants to develop or improve non-degree health IT training programs that students can complete in six months or less.
Curriculum Development Centers Program
The purpose of the Curriculum Development Centers Program
, one component of the Workforce Program, is to provide funding to institutions of higher education (or consortia thereof) to support health information technology curriculum development. The materials developed under this program will be used by the member colleges of the regional Community College Consortia as well as be available to institutions of higher education across the country.
In April 2010, ONC awarded $10 million in grants to five domestic institutions of higher education to develop curriculum and instructional materials to enhance workforce training programs primarily at the community college level.
One of the awardees under this program, Oregon Health & Science University, will receive additional funding to serve as the National Training and Dissemination Center (NTDC) that will host an in-person training event for community college faculty, establish a secure electronic site from which all materials may be downloaded, collect feedback from instructors and students, and coordinate subsequent revisions of the curriculum materials.
Program of Assistance for University-Based Training
One of four workforce development programs ONC has developed under Section 3016 of the Public Health Service Act, as added by the Recovery Act, this program is designed to rapidly and sustainably increase the availability of individuals qualified to serve in specific health IT professional roles requiring university-level training. The colleges and universities listed below are charged with promptly establishing new and/or expanded training programs as rapidly as possible while assuring their graduates are well prepared to fulfill their chosen health IT professional roles. Many of these programs can be completed by the trainee in one year or less. All of the programs are expected to remain once established with the support of this grant.
Competency Examination Program
The purpose of the Competency Examination for Individuals Completing Non-Degree Training program
, one component of the Workforce Program, is to provide funding for institutions of higher education (or consortia thereof) to support the development and initial administration of a set of health IT competency examinations. The examinations assess basic competency for two types of individuals who are seeking to demonstrate their competency in certain health IT workforce roles integral to achieving meaningful use of electronic health information:
Individuals trained through short-duration, non-degree health IT programs
Members of the workforce with relevant experience or other types of training
Opportunities with Regional Extension Centers
Regional Extension Centers support adoption by providing tools, resources and expertise to eligible providers at the state level. AHIMA believes that HIM professionals provide critical skills for EHR implementation. This concept paper outlines the benefits and opportunities of engaging HIM in the process.
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