More than 3,000 health information technology professionals will graduate this month from 82 community-college programs funded by HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
ONC community-college program sees first graduating class
This first wave of graduates, composed mainly of mid-career professionals, will be "equipped to facilitate the implementation of electronic health records, ideally in rural healthcare settings, where implementing EHRs is particularly problematic, largely due to a lack of expertise and a limited pool of HIT trained professionals," according to an ONC announcement.
The ONC launched the program, known as the Community College Consortia, in 2010 with $36 million in funding grants to start or enhance health IT educational offerings. Participating colleges provide short-term, nondegree training programs that help students become more skilled in health IT. In January, the ONC allocated $32 million in second-year funding for the program.
According to the ONC, the Community College Consortia, which is part of its Health IT Workforce Development Program, will help train more than 10,000 new health IT professionals annually by the end of 2012.
"An increased workforce of skilled health IT specialists will be important in supporting providers as they transition to electronic health records," the ONC said in its description of the program.
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