The Health eWorkforce (HeW) Consortium, funded by the Department of Labor, was formed to elevate national Health Information Technology workforce development efforts and train more than 2,000 veterans, TAA-eligible workers and others for promising careers in healthcare and Health IT. Led by Bellevue College, nine colleges are developing health IT training programs that will be disseminated to colleges throughout the U.S. The Consortium shares a commitment to welcoming military veterans into the Health IT field—a promising area for technology-adept veterans. Veterans will also access veteran-focused health IT career services provided by our industry partner, the Health Information Management & Systems Society (HIMSS). The Consortium will also pilot in the veterans community a new federally registered apprenticeship in Health IT.
Expanded use of electronic medical record systems in healthcare is fueling the demand for skilled health information technology workers across the country. Though the workforce need is pressing, cash-strapped colleges often lack the resources to launch health IT programs to meet local employer demand. Also, many college health and IT faculty have not had the opportunity for professional development in Health IT. The dissemination of health IT curricula and faculty HIT training programs by the Consortium will help address these needs. Another obstacle for educators is the lack of hands-on access to EMR systems for students. Few EMR vendors provide academic access to students. Those academic EMR systems that do exist are typically prohibitively expensive. In response to this gap, the HeW Consortium is developing EMR-STAR—a cloud-based EMR access tool for students and educators.