The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology is continuing its efforts to address the shortage of qualified professionals available to fill health IT jobs by adding a fourth initiative to its Health IT Workforce Development Training Program.
Under the Program of Assistance for University-Based Training (the UBT program), the ONC has awarded $32 million in grants to nine colleges and universities to help them quickly create or expand health IT training programs. The grant recipients can also use some of the money to offer financial assistance to qualified UBT students. The ONC expects the program to help more than 1,500 people receive certificates of advanced study or master’s degrees in health IT. This will take a small bite out of the expected shortfall of approximately 50,000 qualified workers for health IT jobs over the next five years.
The UBT program will train students to fill one of the following six health IT workforce roles:
- Clinician or Public Health Leader
- Health Information Management and Exchange Specialist
- Health Information Privacy and Security Specialist
- Research and Development Scientist
- Programmers and Software Engineer
- Health IT Sub-Specialist
The majority of these health IT training programs can be completed in one year, and some of the institutions offer distance-learning options. Students interested in applying for the program can contact one of the participating institutions directly.