Health Information Technology (Health IT) is a national priority and promises to play a key role to improve health care delivery, reduce medical errors, improve care coordination and efficiency, engage patients in their own health care, and serve public health. The federal government is promoting Health IT including the deployment and meaningful use of EHRs through the HITECH Act which includes incentives and significant penalties. As a consequence, the HIT field is rapidly growing. The lack of staffing resources was cited as the most significant barrier to implementing IT, according to the 2012 HIMSS Leadership Survey. The Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University is uniquely positioned to provide the experience, faculty, and resources needed to train these professionals.
The Columbia University Health Information Technology Certification program provides students with the practical knowledge and skills required to implement and utilize health information technology in healthcare settings. At the end of this program, successful trainees will receive 12 credits and a certification of professional achievement from Columbia University.
This 9-month competency-based certification program offers a conceptual framework, background knowledge, and workforce skills. Topics include project management, organization context for HIT, HIT implementation, EHR usability, knowledge representation, data storage, clinical decision support, IT enabled patient engagement, clinical analytics, healthcare interoperability, security, and privacy. Supplemental lectures address knowledge gaps in computer science or health care. All work is centered around real-world problems in the field.
The curriculum includes both individual learning and team-based activities to develop collaboration skills, a necessity for this multidisciplinary field. Self-guided materials are combined with team assignments and lectures. Teams, selected to maximize professional diversity, work on case presentations and develop a capstone project, all of which are centered on real-world problems. The program concludes with a commencement and career fair day.
The format of the class is a blend of online and in-person training. The majority of the course materials are available on-line, consisting of lectures, reading materials, quizzes, tests, and discussion boards. On-line and remote collaboration occurs throughout the duration of the program between fellow students, team members, and faculty. Nine monthly in-person sessions (scheduled on Fridays) are held on the Columbia University Medical Center campus. In-person instruction includes interactive workshops and hands-one exposure to skills and systems as well as lectures and demonstrations from faculty and field experts. The dates for the 2013-2014 program are scheduled as follows: September 20th, October 18th,November 15th, December 13th, January 24th, February 21st, March 21st, April 25th, and May 16th (Commencement Day).
Students applying for this program will be expected to have at least a bachelor's degree and experience or training in a STEM fields (science Technology, Engineering, or math), health care, or public health. Prospective applicants apply online.
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