As the healthcare industry begins a widespread shift to digital record-keeping and electronic information transfer, a growing need has emerged among employees of this industry to be more knowledgeable and skilled in information technology skills and practices.
The need exists for both healthcare professionals who must be knowledgeable in the processing, storage and retrieval of information, as well as for information technology professionals working in healthcare facilities, who should possess a working and current general knowledge of the healthcare industry.
Professionals working within these positions need to understand the complexities of digitally storing and transferring medical information to ensure that this information is accurate, protected and readily accessible when needed.
This is particularly true in Northeastern Pennsylvania where an older age demographic has created an increased need for a variety of health care facilities, as well as medical and technical professionals to staff and operate them.
To answer this growing need, Penn State Worthington Scranton's Continuing Education department, in conjunction with three other area Penn State campuses, is offering a Healthcare Informatics Certificate program. This 19-credit certificate program begins in January with two classes being offered that provide the required insight into both professional areas to provide a well-rounded understanding and working knowledge of information technology use and how it pertains to the healthcare industry in particular.
This program is especially designed for individuals who would like to enter into the world of healthcare information management or those working exclusively in the information or healthcare fields that wish to broaden their education and understanding of healthcare informatics.
"This program has come about at the perfect time," said John Drake, director of Worthington Scranton's continuing education department. "There has been vast growth within the information technology industry and, as the healthcare industry in our region begins to grow, use of this technology will surely increase. As professional educators in our region, we want to make sure that we are helping the workforce in both of these industries prepare for this increased need and growing career field."
Jane Ashton, Director of Continuing Education at Penn State Wilkes-Barre added, "This Healthcare Informatics Certificate program will give our Penn State Information Sciences and Technology graduates, current IT and health care professionals, and the general public an opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge about the healthcare industry that will enhance their resume and opportunities for employment."
In addition to Penn State Worthington Scranton and Penn State Wilkes-Barre, the Penn State Hazleton and Schuylkill campuses are partnering in the effort to offer these courses, making it available throughout all of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
"Partnering with the other Penn State campuses enables faculty and students to network regionally and to gain a regional perspective during the course of study," said Mary Sacavage, Ph.D., Penn State Schuylkill's Director of Continuing Education.
Sally McGuire, Penn State Director of Continuing Education at Penn State Hazleton, also stressed the advantages of collaborating with other regional campuses, particularly "our ability to offer programs at multiple locations using our video learning technology as well as face-to-face programming."
For more information about this program and how to register for classes, please contact: Penn State Hazleton Continuing Education (CE), 570-450-3053, [email protected]; Penn State Schuylkill CE, 570-385-6217, [email protected]; Penn State Wilkes-Barre CE, 570-675-9251, [email protected]; and Penn State Worthington Scranton CE, 570-963-2600, [email protected].