Sunday, November 29, 2009

$80 Million to Support Workforce

“Ensuring the adoption of electronic health records to use to exchange information among healthcare providers and public health authorities and to redesign workflows within healthcare settings, all depends on having a qualified pool of workers,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, HHS National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

The agency has plans to make $80 million in grants available to help develop and strengthen the HIT workforce. The grants include $70 million for community college training programs and $10 million to develop educational materials to support these programs. These grants are the first in a series of programs to help strengthen and support the health IT workforce.

The Community College program will establish intensive, non-degree training that can be completed in six months or less by individuals that have a background in healthcare or in the IT fields. Participating colleges will coordinate their efforts through five regional consortia that will span the nation.