Cincinnati State offers new Health IT degree this fall

Cincinnati State Community and Technical College is adding a new Health IT associate degree program this fall.

The program will offer two majors:
  • Healthcare Programming and Systems Analysis, a software development and analysis program.
  • Healthcare Informatics, which trains students to understand, mine, analyze, report and support healthcare data throughout the continuum of care.
Cincinnati State is the latest regional university to create Health IT-focused programs. Demand for them is largely a response to a federal requirement that providers move from paper-based to electronic health records by 2014. That mandate is part of the wide reaching Affordable Care Act recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The degree is geared toward a hybrid talent set," says Dr. Lawra Baumann, director of grants administration at Cincinnati State. "It's for people who understand the healthcare industry, as well as those familiar with programing, data mining and analysis."

Cincinnati State has one of the largest nursing training programs in the region. Many area nurses are showing interest in the program, adds Baumann, who is also executive director of the Health Careers Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati.

It's estimated that there will be between 50,000 and 200,000 new health IT jobs nationally by 2015, Baumann says. According to the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, there will be a shortfall of about 50,000 qualified health IT workers for the next three to five years.

Cincinnati State is taking a tech approach to the degree program. Classes will be offered both online and in the classroom.
"A very significant portion of the degree can be earned online," Baumann says.

Cincinnati State is also offering the program at its Middletown campus, and teaming up with Miami University in Oxford. Students who earn an associate's degree at Cincinnati State can go on to pursue a four-year degree at Miami.

By Feoshia H. Davis
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