Jobs Require Mix of Health Care, Tech Skills

By Brian T. Horowitz  |  Posted 2011-07-26 Print this article Print


CompTIA created the health care IT credential after receiving requests by health care IT clients to validate the skills of managed service providers who can implement the transition to EHRs, Gretchen Koch, senior director for workforce development at CompTIA, told eWEEK.

In addition to CompTIA's health care IT certificate, its A+ certification prepares tech workers for PC support, installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting, she said.

Tech professionals would like the credentials to show the skills they've gained in health care IT, according to Koch.

"What they're saying they really need and would like to have are industry credentials to help them validate the skill sets they've gotten through the training courses," Koch explained.

With the Obama administration's HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act offering incentives for "meaningful use" of electronic health records, workers need a credential program to show they understand how to implement EHRs according to these government mandates, she suggested.

"Health IT tech certification is a combination of health care knowledge and skills you need, plus any technical skills needed to successfully pay for this transition," Koch said.

"People who have the skill set and are interested in moving into a high-growth area like health IT can prepare for this exam and pass it and be a good candidate to be hired by these companies that are growing," she said.

Workers can take the test at Pearson Vue and Prometric testing centers. Pearson is the world's largest commercial testing and educational publisher, according to the company. Meanwhile, Prometric is a division of nonprofit ETS (Educational Testing Service).

For the exam, trainees will be asked to solve problems such as how to implement communications protocols like email, secure chat or FTP in a medical practice.

Other questions may include how to troubleshoot IT hardware such as PCs, monitors and printers or to identify commonly used medical terms such as e-prescribing or PACS (picture archiving and communication system), a technology radiologists use for medical imaging. 


Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company,, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents,, USA Weekend and, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.

Follow him on Twitter: @bthorowitz


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