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NIC to offer electronic health record training this fall

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Idaho residents with a prior background in healthcare and/or information technology will have the opportunity to train in the cutting-edge field of electronic health records for the first time this fall through North Idaho College.

Idaho residents with a prior background in healthcare and/or information technology will have the opportunity to train in the cutting-edge field of electronic health records for the first time this fall through North Idaho College. The new program is intended to position them to take advantage of $19.2 billion allocated by the federal government to implement a new health information technology system.

Jobs will be available for employees with the right skill set. With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, health organizations will receive incentive funding to help them swap from paper-based record systems to digital record systems. The movement to electronic health records is likely to affect every level of the healthcare industry and health organizations will need trained employees to help them navigate the transition.

As part of an unprecedented, multi-state effort, NIC was awarded a $625,000 grant to train health information technology professionals. Federal estimates indicate about 51,000 qualified health information technology workers will be required over the next five years to meet the needs of hospitals and physicians as they adopt the new system.

The new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Adoption for Healthcare Practices curriculum at NIC is designed to give students who complete the program a practical toolkit for planning and delivering an EMR system in a healthcare setting. Students entering the program should have some prior healthcare or information technology experience. The online program can be completed in one semester with students taking 10 credits. The program offers several courses, including Introduction to Health Information Technology, Medical Terminology, Legal Issues in Healthcare, EMR System Planning and Selection and EMR System Deployment and Management. Graduates of the program will receive a post-secondary certificate.

“This online program is ideally suited to Idaho residents currently employed in a healthcare setting who need education in the selection, implementation and project management phases of adopting an electronic medical records system,” said Sue Shibley, EMR program manager at NIC.

Prospective students should submit an online application directly to the EMR program for evaluation. The first 135 students to complete the program before mid-May 2011 will be eligible for tuition reimbursement.

For more information and an application, visit www.nic.edu/emra or contact EMR Program Advisor Maureen Wagner at (208) 769-3252; [email protected]

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Stacy Hudson is the Public Information Coordinator for North Idaho College

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