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:
You are encouraged to discuss this training opportunity with your immediate supervisor if you are currently employed within the networks. 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 workforce, especially for those currently working in the health care 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/practicum programs 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 is 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 training coursework will last for approximately 6-months and will include learning time, some hands-on labs, and group interaction/Communities of Learning (CoLs). Additional learning activities such as an apprenticeship/practicum program will follow the coursework portion and last for approximately 2-3 months. The training program will begin on April 21, 2014 and run through mid-December, 2014 (including the apprenticeship.) This timeline is subject to change, however, no extreme adjustment is expected.
Q: How much time will the training program require per week or month?
A: It is estimated that the trainees will spend approximately 20 hours per week during the coursework portion. During the apprenticeship/practicum activities, the time may vary depending on the project work and the availability/scheduling of the host facility and individual trainee. More information regarding this part of the program will be available at a later date.
Q: What is the cost?
A: There is no cost to the trainee or the facility sponsoring the trainee. 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. In addition, the apprenticeship/practicum portion of the training program will be offered at no charge unless additional resources are required to carry out the apprenticeship program. Certification exam fees and college credits are NOT covered in the grant funding and are the responsibility of the individual trainee or sponsoring facility.
Q: Will I be allowed to do the training on work time, or will it need to be completed during my personal time?
A: If you are currently employed, you will want to discuss this with your immediate supervisor and/or facility administrator, as it will vary from one facility to the next. Some facilities are considering allowing for a portion of the training time to occur during work hours and some facilities will ask that the training occur outside of work hours.
Q: Do we receive college credits, CEU’s or a certification after completing the training?
A: This training does provide CEUs (continuing education units) and also will have the option to translate the training upon completion into college credit. There will be an additional process to receive college credits for these courses and also a fee that is NOT covered by the grant funding. 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 are NOT covered in the grant funding and are the responsibility of the individual trainee or sponsoring facility.
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 www.lqphnmn.org/MENTOR_Health_IT_Program.html and click on the link for the online web-based application at the bottom of the page. You will need to complete the application form and attach your resume. You will be notified as soon as possible regarding your acceptance into the program. If you are unsure whether you qualify or not for the program, please contact one of the individuals listed below, however, it is better to apply than not, so do not hesitate to submit an application, even if you are unclear about your qualifications.
Q: Who should I contact if I need more information?