American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) President Bonnie Cassidy today informed members of the 83-year-old Chicago-based professional society representing health information management (HIM) professionals that the organization is working proactively to grow jobs for members while helping to fill the estimated 50,000 new positions that will be needed to implement the U.S. health system’s transition to electronic health records (EHR). AHIMA collaborated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) to develop the HIT Pro competency exams announced last week that will, for a limited time, be offered free to qualified U.S. citizens.
The ONC estimates that hospitals and physician practices will need an additional 50,000 HIT workers during the next five years to satisfy EHR “Meaningful Use” criteria. Six new Health Information Technology Professional (HIT Pro) competency exams were released this month to help address this need. The HIT Pro exams assess basic competency of individuals seeking to demonstrate their proficiency in certain health IT workforce roles integral to the implementation and management of electronic health information.
HIT Pro is a component of the Workforce Development program of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. The exams are being funded by an ONC grant and developed through a partnership between Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), AHIMA, and Pearson VUE. Each of the six exams pertains to a specific HIT workforce role instrumental in the process of achieving meaningful use of EHR systems.