Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Curriculum for HIT

Community colleges will soon have the capacity and ability to educate health information technology workers. A new six to 12 month informatics curriculum developed at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) is going to be deployed to local colleges so that students will have access to high quality HIT educational programs.

The curriculum was developed at the new JHUSON Curriculum Development Center in collaboration with the JHU Schools of Nursing, Medicine, Public Health, and Business as well as with four community college partners in Maryland. An advisory board includes academic HIT experts and representatives from HIT employer groups.

The Center is funded through a $1.8 million grant from the stimulus package. A second $3.75 million will enable a team to collaborate on the JHU Health IT Workforce Training Program that will create post-baccalaureate HIT programs. Also, the School of Nursing plans to have an eight month certificate program established in Applied Health Informatics where students will be able to earn 13.5 academic credit hours to apply towards their master’s degree.

The Health Services Management and Leadership Department in the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University has been awarded a $4.6 million grant from the HHS Office of the National Coordinator to develop curriculum that will emphasize IT related critical thinking and healthcare analytical skills.

The plan is to link the GW School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Health Services Management and Leadership; (School of Business), Department of Information Systems and Technology Management; (School of Engineering and Applied Science), Department of Computer Science; (School of Medicine and Health Service), Department of Nursing Education; and GW Medical Faculty Associates to work on the curriculum together.

The program will provide a cross disciplinary perspective for the student composed of clinician and public health leaders, health information management and exchange specialists, health information privacy and security specialists, programmers, and software engineers.

GW will offer four eighteen credit hour certificate programs to be completed within six months. The courses in the program can be rolled into one of three nationally and/or regionally accredited masters degrees. The courses are currently in existence at GW in a traditional classroom format, but will be converted into an online or week long, onsite format. The program will begin by fall 2010.