PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) will introduce a new non-credit, six-month online course in health information technology beginning September 27. Through a $16 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CCAC has partnered with Tidewater Community College (TCC) in Hampton Roads, Va., as part of a consortium to educate up to 7,500 information technology professionals in healthcare through the next two years at no cost to those who qualify.
CCAC will offer two core courses, Implementation Manager and Trainer, to registered students in an online format. Implementation managing will focus on working with physicians, nurses and clerical personnel to design an effective transition from working in a paper environment to using electronic records. The Trainer will teach personnel about using electronic health records and will provide backup to keep patient-centered activities as the primary focus in the office throughout the transition. The program as a whole is designed for individuals with a background in IT, healthcare or a related field. It is divided into seven units per course, with each course lasting approximately six months.
This modernized program provides students with unique qualifications that can set them apart in the job market and offers an opportunity to those interested in retraining to reenter the workforce. The program is eco-friendly by being completely paperless, offers students the opportunity to be trained quickly and is tuition-free.
The 12-state region including CCAC and TCC holds 25 percent of the U.S. population and is one of the largest of five regions in the country’s Community College Consortia to Educate Health Information Technology Professionals in Health Care program. The HHS grant was given to regions known for their hospitals and health care providers to adopt electronic healthcare technology and accommodate the growing demand for this transition from paper-based records. In total, there are 23 institutions partnering with TCC in its region. CCAC will receive up to $435,000 in the first year of the grant.
Healthcare information technology was identified as one of the industries with greatest potential growth in Greater Pittsburgh in a study commissioned by CCAC earlier this year. Conducted by the Hill Group of Carnegie, the study primarily identified three high-growth fields—including healthcare and life sciences—noting that the greatest developments will come where those fields intersect information technology or manufacturing. The study also demonstrated the up-and-coming need for training programs that provide the skills and industry-specific education necessary to perform these jobs as they increase in demand.
The goal of the TCC-led program is to educate an average of 150 students each year at each school to implement and unify electronic health records. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, this program will help to expand educational opportunities and improve the nation’s healthcare delivery system.
For more information or to register, please call 412.788.7396.
The Community College of Allegheny County is the largest institution of postsecondary higher education in Pennsylvania. The college serves 30,000 credit students through 170 degree and certificate programs and offers thousands of lifelong learning non-credit and workforce development courses to 35,000 students annually. Incorporating a learning-centered environment committed to the future of the region, CCAC continues to expand its reach through innovative programming and accessible instruction offered via convenient day, evening, weekend and online courses. With four campuses and six centers serving Allegheny County and surrounding communities, CCAC endeavors to fulfill its mission to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society.