The U.S. needs an estimated 50,000 additional health IT professionals to help hospitals and physicians become meaningful users of electronic health records.
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHRs can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.
Last year, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT doled out $84 million in grants to universities and community colleges to train more students in health IT. Earlier this year, ONC announced another $80 million available for community colleges and other health IT work force development programs.
In an iHealthBeat Special Report by Mina Kim, experts weighed in on the progress of federal efforts to boost the country's health IT work force. The Special Report includes comments from:
- David Falkenstein, project director for federally funded grants at Northern Virginia Community College;
- William Hersh, professor and chair of Oregon Health and Science University's Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology;
- George Hickman, executive vice president and CIO of Albany Medical Center; and
- Thomas Shlala, health IT grant program coordinator for Atlanta Technical College (Kim, iHealthBeat, 3/30).
The complete transcript of this Special Report is available as a PDF.
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