College of Southern Nevada, SNMIC join forces to educate

More than 5,000 health care technology positions need filling in next three years

LAS VEGAS – Health care reform, signed into law by President Obama a year ago, coupled with the requirements outlined in the HITECH Act in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will launch a tidal wave of health care information technology as a result of the bills’ emphasis on electronic medical records (EMR) also known as electronic health records (EHR).

In Nevada, this means more than 5,000 people can be ained and put to work in the health information technology (HIT) field in the next three years.

The College of Southern Nevada and the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition (SNMIC) invite students, employers and professionals with health care or information technology background to the Health Information Technology Workforce Career Forum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at the Charleston Campus of the College of Southern Nevada, building K lobby, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd.

The event is focused on providing information to employers, students and jobseekers alike about the opportunities in jobs and education that exist in the HIT field as related to EMRs and the Health Information Technology Program at the college. A report issued by Accenture last March states 58 percent of doctors plan on investing in a EMR system in the next two years, as required by the HITECH Act. (The Act requires all health care facilities and physicians to transition to an electronic health record system by 2014. Those who begin the transition sooner will receive incentive payments to help cover the costs of transitioning to an electronic system. Those who don’t make the transition by 2014 will face fines.) Currently, 6 percent of office-based physicians fully use EMRs. This creates a large void for skilled workers in Nevada.

The college has joined with several community partners, including SNMIC, to provide support, tuition assistance and hands-on experience for students enrolled in the Health IT Workforce Training Program through a federal grant awarded by the Office of the National Coordinator in the Department of Health and Human Services. The College of Southern Nevada is currently the only training provider in the state of Nevada for these workforce roles.

“It’s important to have a proactive approach and train those interested in health information technology today rather than wait and have a possible shortage on our hands later,” said Doug Geinzer, CEO of SNMIC. “These are real jobs in the future we can train for today. That is the foundation of workforce development and the mission of SNMIC.”

Program graduates will be employed by hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician offices, managed care clinics, military installations, insurance companies, law firms, consulting firms and computer software vendors. 

“There is a real need for quality professionals trained in HIT in the next few years,” said Yindra Dixon, director of academic outreach in the office of academic affairs for the college. “At College of Southern Nevada, it’s our mission to identify those needs – before they happen – and begin offering those classes to our students so they can be ready to fill those positions.”

For more information on SNMIC, visit www.snmic.com. For additional information on the Health Information Technology Program, visit the College of Southern Nevada website at www.csn.edu/ehrtraining.

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