Mentor Health

Mentor Health Information Technology Training Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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Modern Healthcare Article

Press Release 6-20-2014


 Mentor Health Information Technology Training Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Who should consider taking this health IT training opportunity?

A: The MENTOR Health IT training program was funded to support the Medi-Sota & LqPHN health networks and the surrounding community develop a health IT competent workforce. This training is appropriate for:

  • Any current employee who works for a healthcare related facility/organization within the Medi-Sota & LqPHN network region and who would benefit from health information technology skills & competencies (or his/her facility would benefit from having a skilled health IT competent employee.)

  • Any recent graduate of any healthcare or IT related academic program that would like additional training in Health IT to enhance his/her ability to secure employment within the healthcare community in the Medi-Sota & LqPHN network region and are committed to living in the network region.

  • Unemployed or underemployed individuals and veterans who would benefit from gaining health IT competencies to support his/her employment and career search and are committed to living and working in the network region.

You are encouraged to discuss this training opportunity with your immediate supervisor if you are currently employed. The training is an opportunity to provide professional development and growth to yourself and/or your employees. If you are a prospective job-seeker, this training will allow you to enhance your health IT knowledge to support your employment search and employability.

Q: What is the overall purpose of this health IT training grant?

A: The MENTOR Health IT grant program goal is to upskill the rural workforce, especially for those currently working in the healthcare field in Southwest Minnesota (Medi-Sota and LqPHN health network region), in health information technology. This newly trained workforce will support the planning, implementation, usage and optimization of health information technology to support better care, greater access to care and lower costs to the patients, healthcare facilities, and providers.

Federal policies and mandates are requiring electronic health record systems, quality reporting and information exchange which are creating an immense amount of pressure on facilities’ resources, requiring a deeper skill and knowledge level of facility employees to effectively use the information systems as it relates to the care provision and the business functions of healthcare facilities. It is important that not only are there designated individuals who are considered health IT specialists, but also that a diversity of employees in healthcare-related facilities gain a deeper understanding and competency in health IT as it rapidly becomes one of the top priorities and focus points for the facilities in all areas of the business.

Q: What will I gain by going through the training?

A: There is an enormous amount of complexity and issues surrounding the health information systems that are used in healthcare. As a trainee, you will gain the competencies to help you better understand, use, analyze, trouble-shoot, and optimize the work (providing care, support services, business/operations, etc.) and the effectiveness of multiple departments and facilities as it relates to the health IT systems and patient care, support, operations and services.


Professional Development: This training will also provide the trainee with a valuable opportunity for professional development in a very dynamic and exciting field of health IT and learn about an area that is sure to grow and expand. If you have not completed your academic education, the program also will allow you to apply for college credit upon successful completion of the program (college credits are not funded by grant resources and are the responsibility of the individual.)

Organizational Effectiveness: Supervisors, managers and facility administrators will benefit from an employee base that has a deeper understanding of clinical workflow, business operations, patient services, data and quality and how to more effectively use, support and critically think about health IT projects and issues.

Industry Experience: If you are a recent graduate of a healthcare or IT-related degree program, this program will provide a unique opportunity to stack a highly marketable credential to your already valuable degree and also expose you to healthcare facilities through the apprenticeship program to help you gain industry experience and a foot in the door for future employment possibilities.

Career Opportunities: Unemployed or underemployed individuals will find this training as a valuable enhancement to his/her job search and may open doors within healthcare facilities when employment opportunities arise.

Industry Credentials: Any individual who successfully completes the training program will be qualified to sit for an industry Health IT certification which can be added to your professional portfolio (certification exam may not funded by grant resources and is the responsibility of the individual or sponsoring facility.

Q: How long will the training program last?

A: The coursework will last for approximately 6-10 months, depending on how much time is dedicated per week. The minimum amount of time trainees should expect to dedicate per week is 7 hours (1 hour per day). The maximum amount should be no more than 20 hours per week. This includes some hands-on labs, group interaction and Communities of Learning. Additional learning activities such as an apprenticeship, will follow the coursework portion and last for approximately 8 weeks. The training schedule is:

April 2014 – January 2015 (Track: Informatics)

January 2015 – October 2015 (Tracks: Informatics, IT Support)

September 2015 – May 2016 (Tracks: Trainer, Analyst)

This timeline is subject to change.

Q: How much time will the training program require per week or month?

A: It is estimated that trainees will spend approximately 7-20 hours per week, depending on how quickly they would like to finish the coursework. The coursework should be completed in 6-10 months. The time per week may vary depending on unit coursework. Apprenticeships should not take more than 10 hours per week. A toolkit has been developed and MENTOR staff are available to assist trainees and host facilities throughout the apprenticeship process.

Q: What is the cost?

A: There is no cost for the training. All coursework and instructional fees are covered through a grant that the Lac qui Parle Health Network received from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. However, if trainees do not complete the training they will be responsible for a $100 administrative fee. Certification exam fees and college credits are NOT covered in the grant funding and are the responsibility of the individual trainee.

Q: Will I be allowed to do the training on work time, or will it need to be completed during my personal time?

A: Trainees are not guaranteed time at work to complete the training. You should discuss this with your immediate supervisor and/or facility administrator to clarify expectations.

Q: Do we receive college credits, CEU’s or a certification after completing the training?

A: This training provides CEUs (continuing education units) and contact hours, and also will have the option to translate the training into college credit upon completion. There will be an additional process and fee (not covered) to receive college credits for these courses. The training program is aligned to national certification exams and trainees will be eligible to sit for exams upon completion of the training program. Certification exam fees may not be covered in the grant funding and would be the responsibility of the individual trainee.

Q: Will this training be meaningful even if I work on a specific health information system (EHR/EMR)?

A: This training has been designed to be vendor/software neutral. We are partnering with a local vendor to provide an interactive learning environment and will develop all learning activities as universal as possible so the learning can be transferable to any health information system.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Visit and click on the link at the bottom of the page for the online application. You will need to complete the application form and attach your resume within 45 minutes of starting the application. Notification regarding your status will be sent as soon as possible. If you are unsure whether you qualify for the program or not, please contact one of the individuals listed below, or just apply and we’ll contact you if we have any questions about your qualifications!

Q: Who should I contact if I need more information?

Lisa DuFrane 320-698-7199 ext. 7242

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Bernice Robinson 320-698-7199 ext.7110

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Tracy Mastel (Normandale Community College) 952-358-8035

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