Health IT Firms Scrambling For Workers

Technicians are needed to help hospitals develop and use electronic health records. Other reports look at the efforts to develop secure and efficient digital records.

CNN Money/Fortune: Your Next Job: Electronic Medical Records Professional
Why it's hot: Just two years ago, about one in five hospitals used electronic health records (EHR). Thanks to an incentive program from the government, the number is growing fast: More than 3,600 hospitals (about 72%) received payments to transition to EHR as of the end of July. Much of the work remains, and the health care sector is scrambling for technicians and consultants to aid the switch (Konrad, 9/18).

CQ HealthBeat: Agencies Say Demo Shows Electronic Health Records Can Be Securely Transmitted
The departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services said Monday they've demonstrated how to share sensitive electronic health records between the two agencies without revealing personal information. One of the biggest concerns of privacy advocates about electronic health records is that confidential health information will be accidentally disclosed. Officials said that the HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) used new standards to securely send to the VA a mock patient's substance abuse treatment records after electronically verifying that the mock patient had consented to the transmission (Adams, 9/17).

Modern Healthcare: HHS, VA Go Granular In Info Exchange Demo
HHS and the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department have demonstrated the successful use of technology to persistently enforce federal patient consent requirements at the "granular" data element level, HHS announced. The demo came in response to a 2010 call by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to use what's called "meta-data tagging" to enhance privacy (Conn, 9/17). 

Modern Healthcare: Second Set of Draft EHR Test Materials Out
The second round of draft test materials for developers of health information technology to use in the testing and certification of electronic health-record systems and modules against the 2014 edition of standards and certification criteria has been released for public comment by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The latest release includes test procedures, tools and applicable test data and files, according to the ONC. It follows a first round of testing procedures that the ONC released Sept. 7 (Conn, 9/17).

Another story deals with the effort to train young people in medical and science career fields.

Minnesota Public Radio: Rochester School Prepares Students For Careers In Medicine And Technology
Zakaria Mahamed wants to go to college and become a pediatrician, training he hopes will someday land him at the Mayo Clinic. "When I see my family doctor, it makes me feel like I could be there one day," he said. "I could help these kids, I could find new cures for diseases, I can make a difference in my community." But first, Mahamed has to make it through high school. The 11th grader thinks his chances of doing so are much better at the STEM Academy in Rochester, a charter school that aims to prepare immigrant and minority students for fields such as microbiology, nursing and engineering (Baier, 9/18).

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