U.S. Government, HIMSS Collaborate on Health Care IT Career Search Tools

Nonprofit health care IT association HIMSS is combining efforts with the Department of Health & Human Services on online health care job search tools.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and the Department of Health & Human Services are collaborating on tools to help graduating students and mid-career professionals obtain new jobs in health care IT.

A nonprofit organization of more than 35,000 members, HIMSS offers expert advice on how to use technology to improve health care. It will upgrade its JobMine online job board to include jobs for graduates of HHS' ONC HIT Workforce Development Program, an initiative by ONC (the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) to train new health care IT workers to use EHRs (electronic health records).

ONC has awarded $116 million for the Workforce Development Program, which includes training for mid-career specialists at the Community College Consortia, a group of 82 community colleges that represent all 50 states and have created health care IT curriculums.

Under the Curriculum Development Centers Program, ONC has funded health care IT programs at Columbia University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Oregon Health & Science University and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Employment for health information technicians and EHR professionals is expected to grow 20 percent in 2018 to 207,600 jobs from 39 percent and 172,500 jobs in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Graduates of ONC career programs have competencies in six areas: practice workflow, redesign specialist, clinical or practitioner consultant, implementation support specialist, implementation manager, technical software support personnel and technical software support trainer.

In this new section on JobMine, announced on May 4, ONC graduates will be able to post r??«sum??«s and look for jobs, while employers will be able to seek out candidates from the ONC program, according to JoAnn Klinedinst, vice president of professional development at HIMSS. ONC's Web site will also link to JobMine.

"We've provided the resource and just leveraged our board to help this particular segment of the industry find the talent as well as hire folks that are looking to be hired," Klinedinst told eWEEK.

JobMine has hundreds of open positions, Klinedinst noted. Jobs currently posted on the board included an EHR manager, privacy security coordinator and director of health information management.

With its collaboration, the two parties hope to train a new wave of health care IT workers to benefit the quality and safety of patient care and health care's bottom line.

In addition to JobMine, ONC program graduates will be able to receive guidance from academic health care IT experts and e-mentoring services online.

Meanwhile, HIMSS plans a Virtual Career Fair online in 3-D later this year. "This will be an opportunity for applicants to come to an event (job seekers as well as those that have positions to offer) and be matched," Klinedinst said. "We anticipate leveraging our virtual conference platform to create this virtual event," she added.

Dr. Farzad Mostashari, a former assistant commissioner at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, became the new national coordinator for health information technology on April 8, replacing Dr. David Blumenthal. On Feb. 3 Blumenthal stepped down to return to his career as a professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard University.