Capital Community College is one of 23 community colleges to participate in a 12-state consortium for Health Information Technology education. Led by Tidewater Community College in Virginia, Capital is the only college in Connecticut involved. Earlier this month, Tidewater was awarded a $16,017,608 grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to head up a group to educate 7,500 information technology (IT) professionals in healthcare. Of that, Capital Community College will be provided with $471,000 over two years, to provide training and education to information management specialists and support staff in the emerging field of health informatics.
Responding to the needs of its partners in the health care sector, Capital will provide short-term information technology training to two groups of individuals: IT professionals who have been down-sized due to economic conditions or job dislocation, and health care professionals such as RNs, paramedics, radiological technicians, and medical assistants, who seek continuing education in IT for career advancement and to stay current with the use of technology in their occupations.
To be launched by August 2010, Capital’s health informatics training will be established alongside the college’s array of nationally accredited programs in nursing and allied health. The goal in Year 1 will be to attain certification and placement for 150 individuals, with each student participating in up to 175 hours of training to develop competencies in health information technology.
Year 2 will provide training for a second cohort of 150 students enrolled in a Health Information Technology (HIT) non-credit program, addressing three workforce roles: practice workflow and information management redesign specialists, clinician/practitioner consultants in mobile support positions, and technical/software support staff in permanent positions. HIT training will be integrated into Capital’s Health Professions Institute alongside existing certificate programs for nurses and other healthcare personnel for replication beyond the life of the grant.
“This is a logical extension for us, as our existing health professional programs of study are so strong already,” said Dr. Calvin Woodland, Capital’s president. “We’re proud to be contributing to the state’s efforts to prepare a workforce to implement electronic health records systems.”
– Jane Bronfman