WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio - "These are real jobs. These are jobs that exist today. And one's that will be expanded upon in the future," said Cuyahoga Community College Health Information Technology (HIT) Program Director Lawrence J. Voyten.
Voyten was talking about the rapidly growing need for skilled professionals in the HIT field as the nation adopts the use of electronic medical records (EMRs).
The change to EMRs has been mandated by 2014 as part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009. Presently, medical providers receive government incentives to adopt electronic record systems. After 2014, providers will be penalized for not having such systems in place.
As a result, federal grants have been given to institutions like Tri-C in an effort to train thousands of qualifying individuals in the new technologies.
The Tri-C program is both campus and distance-based, and includes home, weekend and evening classwork. The program can be completed in less than six months and focuses on six specific workforce rolls in the new HIT field.
For now, the program is limited to those with healthcare or information technologies backgrounds - but according to Voyten, Tri-C expects to offer a HIT Associates Degree beginning in 2012. That course of study would be less intensive and open to students with varied backgrounds seeking to enter the HIT workforce.
Corporate College administrators told NewsChannel5, that as of mid-October, substantial scholarship assistance remained available to potential HIT students through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 grant.
"There's excitement in what is going to be occurring within both the clinical as well as the business aspects of healthcare," Voyten said. "And we here at Cuyahoga Community College are excited to be on the forefront of that."
To hear more from Director Voyten regarding the EMRs and HIT click on the extended video clip beneath the player window.