This appeared today.
Grants to Fund Health I.T. Training
HDM Breaking News, November 24, 2009
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology soon will post a funding opportunity notice for $80 million in grants to support the training of health information technology professionals in about 70 community colleges across the nation.
The funds, authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are intended to expand the health I.T. workforce by 50,000. Under the grant program, $70 million is dedicated for operating non-degree, six-month intensive training programs, says David Blumenthal, M.D., national coordinator. The remaining $10 million will go for development of educational materials, which Blumenthal calls "a national resource for anyone wishing to develop and conduct such programs."
Under the grant program, ONC will fund five consortia of community colleges in five regions across the nation. Federal officials expect the program to produce 10,000 graduates each year for five years. The program could include distance-learning initiatives.
Just where exactly is NEHTA and DoHA in the cycle of actually getting some funds to this?
We have a committee, grandly titled National Health Informatics Education Committee (NHIEC) which has now morphed into the Australian Health Informatics Education Council (AHIEC) which is developing a Strategic HI Education work plan. That is a plan to develop a plan of how to fix HI manpower issues.
The web site for this is here:
The current workplan is found here:
It seems to be rather a plan to work out what is needed. From the Executive Summary:
“This report and indicative workplan represents a systematic approach to describing the required HI competencies, defining the gaps, developing the strategies to address the capability gaps and monitoring the progress and effectiveness of the strategies implemented. The modular approach, with a mix of sequential and parallel implementations, provides a degree of flexibility in rolling out the workplan. While this flexibility is important, it does not detract from the urgency of the workplan implementation to achieve a workforce with the required competencies to drive the national health and e‐Health agenda.”
To date it is not clear just how much funding has actually been allocated to getting things up and running some five months after the report was finalised.
We clearly have a very long way to go to actually be rolling out courses across the wide brown land.
Time for the AHIEC to get seriously rolling I think! Maybe we might be able to leverage the courses being developed in the US?