While the U.S. government is forecasting a possible shortage of health IT professionals over the next few years, new training and certification programs are popping up for IT pros and clinicians looking to buff up their credentials.
Among the latest offerings is a new five-day boot camp for health IT and e-medical records training available by Training Camp, a provider of accelerated IT and business certification programs, including IT security and project management.
For the new offering, Training Camp has joined up with Health IT Certification, a provider of online and onsite certification and training programs for health IT professionals. The boot camp will combine Training Camp's compact, immersive learning programs with health IT curriculum from Health IT Certification, said Megan Eroh, Training Camp VP of business development in an interview with InformationWeek.
The classes will cover legal and regulatory issues, the selection and implementation of HIT systems, including e-medical records, coordination of care, patient safety, data management and security, and other topics as more details of the government's upcoming meaningful use requirements emerge and evolve, said Eroh.
"We'll adapt to changes as more information about meaningful use comes out," she said referring the federal government's $20 billion-plus HITECH programs that will begin in 2011 to financially reward healthcare providers in their meaningful use of health IT such as e-medical records.
The boot camp is geared to IT professionals as well as clinicians such as nurses, doctors and others "who need to understand what to look for" in choosing EMRs and other health IT, as well as what to expect during implementation.
"We're not recommending any vendor's particular product but rather explaining what to look for--up front planning in these systems is crucial," she said.
The classes are also geared to working and unemployed IT professionals from other industries looking to make a transition into health IT, Eroh said. "There are enormous shortages in healthcare, and so we're seeing a lot of interest," she said.
Initially, the classes will be offered monthly in various cities across the country, starting in August in Philadelphia, then later in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Chicago. "We'll cover the country the best we can," she said.
The crash course health IT training and certification program is priced at $4,250, including all classes, hotel, meals, certification exam and fees, she said.
In addition to the instructor-led boot camp, Training Camp and Health IT Certification will offer self-paced, online training programs for those professionals "who don't need as intensive a program," she said.
Training Camp is also working with various Regional Extension Centers across the country to provide information about its training programs to professionals who seek help from the centers for their organizations' EMR deployment plans, Eroh said.