More than 9,100 people trained in Medical Records and Health Information Technology will be needed by 2016, according to the PA Department of Labor and Industry.
That fact is one of the drivers of the new Electronic Health Records and Health Care Information Technology associate degree program being introduced by Reading Area Community College this fall. Students can enroll in the new program starting this fall as either a full-time or part-time student.
Highlights of the program include:
- Receiving training on both the relevant hardware and software relating to electronic medical records.
- Opportunities to earn industry-approved CompTIA A+ and Healthcare IT certifications built into program.
- Real-world work experience as part of the 135-hour practicum.
Another unique aspect of this program is that students who are taking a credit course and wish to sit for the three IT certifications offered through our Schmidt Training and Technology Center can receive financial aid toward that extra cost. The certifications are: CompTIA A+, Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician 1, and CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician.
Additionally, students who have already received their IT certifications and wish to pursue this new degree can have those certifications transfer as credits into the program.
Two other major factors driving the growth in this field are new medical privacy regulations and government mandates that all medical records should be captured electronically. In addition, this electronic information must be secured by people who have extensive training on dealing with sensitive personal information.
Those facts have led the state to expect that employment in Medical Records and Health Information Technology will grow by 16% in Pennsylvania by 2016.
Some of those jobs may be right here in Greater Reading. Local employers, the Reading Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital, are working closely with RACC on this new program. They estimate their patient records will be totally electronic within the next two to three years – just in time for the first graduating students!