Great Bay Community College adds associates in health information
PORTSMOUTH — Great Bay Community College is adding a new associate's degree program focused on health information technology to meet the growing demand for workers in the healthcare industry.
Students can register now for the program, which starts in September.
“The addition of this new program demonstrates the college's further commitment to developing workforce capacity. By meeting professional standards of the health care industry, employers can be confident knowing that our graduates have the skills and knowledge that related occupations demand,” Diane King, dean of academic affairs at Great Bay, said in a news release.
The college cites Department of Labor statistics showing that employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to jump by 20 percent through 2018.
The job growth is expected to result from the increase in the number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures that will be performed, the college said. Health records must also be transformed to electronic format by 2014 under a federal mandate.
Nancy Withee, program coordinator for Great Bay's health information technology program, described health information technicians as experts on patient data that physicians, nurses, and other providers rely on to perform their jobs.
Withee said a technician's role is to “ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems, and analyze patient data for the purpose of improving patient care or costs control.”
Jane L. McNamara, director of health information management at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, expressed support for the new program.
“While many younger students certainly have no problems with technology, they need the background and basics of a health information management program to really be prepared for the entry level positions that can lead to further growth and development into higher level positions,” she said.
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