As the nation moves towards a more technologically advanced health care system, providers will need a highly skilled health information technology (IT) workforce to support them in the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 51,000 health IT professionals will be needed in the future for the nation to successfully become meaningful users of health IT systems*. Training, development, and retention of the workforce are critical challenges for successfully implementing and sustaining a health IT system. In no place is the need greater for this health IT professionals than in the safety net community where health IT will play an important role in improving quality, reducing costs, and delivering patient centered care.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) have the potential for increasing efficiency and safety by charting and tracking multiple goals over time. Health IT also supports the three part aim for our health care system: better care, better health and lower costs. Health IT professionals will need to have the necessary training to implement EHRs at healthcare delivery sites, and work on the tracking and reporting of quality performance data. The use of this data empowers providers to improve the quality of care delivered to patients.
Individuals interested in health information careers should be aware that, in addition to health IT, training as Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) and Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) are also available. This web page provides links to technical resources for the following health IT workforce areas:
* Source: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Information Technology Professionals in Health Care: Community College Consortia to Educate Information Technology Professionals in Health Care
The Electronic Health Record Opportunity (Office of the National Coordinator)
Meaningful Use Vanguard Describes EHR Benefits (Office of the National Coordinator)