Individuals looking to become part of the health information technology workforce can bolster their credentials by getting certified in electronic health records (EHR), health information exchange or health information technology (HIT). The program from the Olympia, Wash., organization Health IT Certification LLC is designed for people “with health care operations experience and limited IT background, and those with IT background with limited knowledge of health care,” but there are no prerequisites for taking the certification courses or exam.
The courses are offered online, on-site at a few locations or in-house for organizations that want to offer the program to employees. Individuals must complete the courses and pass an exam to become certified. Health IT Certification offers the following 3 designations:
- Certified Professional in Electronic Health Records, or CPEHR — covers planning, implementation, operation of EHR for knowledge management, quality improvement, patient safety and care coordination.
- Certified Professional in Health Information Technology, or CPHIT — focuses on planning, selecting, implementing, using and managing HIT and EHR applications.
- Certified Professional in Health Information Exchange, or CPHIE — covers planning, governance, information architecture and stewardship, personal health records, telehealth and home monitoring, and other exchanges of electronic information among organizations.
Health IT certification is not cheap — the cost for training ranges from $1,295 to $1,695. In addition, individuals must earn continuing education credits and pay a biannual fee of $100 to maintain their certification. If you are already a health IT guru, you can skip the courses and simply take the certification exam.
Job seekers looking to break into the field of health IT might want to know who recognizes the CPEHR, CPHIT and CPHIE certifications. According to the website, “the value of any credential depends on the marketplace.” Individuals can test-drive the program with a free course on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.