Federal Funding To Support Health IT Training; New Web Tools For Patients

A federally-funded health information training program is now underway, Modern Healthcare reports. "Last month, HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology awarded $112 million of stimulus funds to dozens of universities and community colleges. … Boosting employment nationwide was a major goal of the stimulus law, and there is little doubt, according to the government and industry leaders, that tens of thousands of new jobs will be needed if the federal effort to push provider adoption of EHRs is to be successful." The funding will support courses from six-month certificates for job seekers to post-graduate degrees (Conn, 5/24).

"A new Web-based tool seeks to help patients spend less time in the waiting room before seeing their doctor," The Wall Street Journal reports. "The application, called MedWaitTime, allows patients to check before their appointment whether their doctor is running late, akin to getting a flight-status update before going to the airport." The system, which launched last week in Chicago with a group of 10 doctors, allows patients to check for changes on a website or receive text-message alerts to their cell phones (Wang, 5/25).

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