Health Information Technology Certificate Program

The Health Information Technology Certificate Program at UT Austin provides a unique, comprehensive training in health information technology.  This is a nine-week intensive training program designed to prepare graduates for a variety of exciting careers in Health IT.

Program Overview

Participants will

  • gain hands-on experience with six electronic health record systems
  • study workflow redesign in a state-of-the-art mock physician clinic
  • explore the economics of health-care delivery with expert faculty
  • learn essential medical terminology and health care policies
  • explore enabling technologies like telemedicine in the Health IT Learning Center
  • learn the fundamentals of health information exchange by interacting with a working HIE
  • complete a 2 week off-site practicum experience in varied medical settings
  • receive job placement assistance, including training in resume building and interview skills,
  • carry out a research project and present findings at the research poster forum
  • have the opportunity to interview with Health IT executives and hiring managers

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Who Should Apply?

The growing health information technology workforce demands a diverse set of knowledge and skills. We encourage people to apply who:

  • have a bachelor’s degree from any major
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75
  • have good communication and social skills
  • are highly motivated
  • are seeking an exciting career in the Health IT field

How to Apply to the Health IT & Exchange Specialist Certificate Program »
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Program Requirements

The Health Information Technology Certificate program is a nine-week, all day program.  It is impossible to undertake this intense learning experience while holding down a full or part-time job or attending other classes. A 90% attendance rate and a score of 70% or better in each of the five courses is required in order to earn a certificate as a Health Information Technology & Exchange Specialist.

Health IT Students in Class
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Courses

Fundamentals of Health Information Technology

Overview of U.S. health care infrastructure, public health, current issues in health information technology (HIT) development and use, and federal policy pertaining to HIT.

Operational Models of Health Care Practice

Business models used in medical practices and acute care facilities including revenue generation, risk management, overhead reduction, and other topics.

Workflow Assessment and Process Redesign

Management of medical practice workflow in physicians’ offices, acute care facilities, and health information exchanges.

Electronic Health Records

Development of competencies in the use and management of electronic health record systems.

Practicum in Health Information Technology

Experiential education in health information technology in varied medical settings, including office practices, hospitals, health centers, and health information exchanges.
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Careers

“Health information technology (HIT) is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the economy and an area markedly short of skilled labor. A small army of professionals is needed to help convert hundreds of thousands of physicians from antiquated paper records to electronic health records (EHRs). The following skills will be in particular demand: EHR software training, software support, technical support, technical implementation, programming, quality assurance, project management, medical terminology, database managers, software design, sales, marketing, education, clinical research, and HIT research, to name a few.”
– Michael Stearns, MD, President and CEO of e-MDs, Inc.

Career Opportunities

Health IT Graduates

Health IT Graduates

Employment demands for Health IT jobs continue to grow rapidly according to the national Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). A recent survey focused on HIT industry staffing shows that many more trained professionals will be needed in 2011 to meet workforce shortages. Clinical informatics professionals and implementation experts will be in great demand as the medical profession transitions from paper-based records to electronic technology.

Examples of HIT positions offered to UT HIT certificate graduates:

  • Consultants
  • HIT implementation consultants
  • Project managers
  • EHR trainers
  • EHR sales
  • Healthcare policy analyst

Career Development

Career development is an integral part of UT Austin’s Health IT certificate programs. To help graduates who successfully complete the program find immediate employment in the field of Health IT, students will be provided with career resources including workshops on resumes and cover letters, informational interviewing, job interview preparation, and networking events with employers.

Students can meet individually with a career advisor to develop their resumes and to practice interview skills. They will also have many opportunities to network with employers during brown bag lunches and career panels. In addition, employers will have the opportunity to conduct on-campus interviews with certificate students, post jobs, and participate in career fairs.
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Program Perspective

The College of Natural Sciences and the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with the Texas e-Health Alliance and other industry partners, created an innovative certificate program designed to “fast track” university graduates into this rapidly evolving field.  Our first certificate program was offered to 55 students in the Summer of 2010. A total of 162 students (in three cohorts) have now graduated. Employment statistics for graduates seeking Health IT jobs: 97% of students who graduated from the program in Summer 2010 found employment within 15 months; 84% of students graduating in Summer 2011 found jobs within 3 months; and 86% of students who graduated in Fall 2011 found employment within 2 months. A total of 24 employers have now participated in on-site interviews, and hired our graduates. The number of interviews facilitated for each cohort has grown over time from 50 (Summer 2010) to 150 (Summer 2011) to 280 (Fall 2011). Students who graduated in Fall 2011 had from 3-11 interviews and were offered salaries ranging from $42,000-$76,000 (average salary = $54,000).

Program Recognition

In October of 2010, the program was personally commended as a “home run” by Dr. David Blumenthal, former National Coordinator for Health IT, as a model for HIT workforce development in the nation. Most recently, the program was recognized as the winner of a “Texas-based innovation in healthcare delivery enabled by HIT.”

Funding for this program was made possible on April 2, 2010, when the university received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded by the Office of the National Coordinator, Health Information Technology to the Professional University Resources and Education for Health Information Technology(PURE-HIT) Consortium, a collaboration of Texas State University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics. The consortium received 5.4 million dollars, the largest award in the nation among the nine programs funded for university-based education in Health IT. UT Austin received 2.77 million dollars in funding.

  • Upcoming Info Sessions for Health IT Certificate Program

    The University of Texas at Austin, Norman Hackerman Building, NHB 1.304

    1. July 14 – 4:30 pm
    2. July 17 -12:00 pm
    3. July 21 – 4:30 pm
    4. July 24 – 12:00 pm
    5. July 28 – 4:30 pm
    6. July 31 – 12:00 pm
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