SAN MARCOS, Calif., Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and increased public knowledge of the dire consequences of inefficiencies in the healthcare system, the drive to digitize Americans' medical records is stronger than ever. At the same time, numerous hurdles remain, from dealing with outdated systems to protecting patient privacy. The demand for qualified individuals to tackle these organizational changes continues to grow, and California State University San Marcos is working to prepare students to meet this need with the Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Certificate program offered by the College of Business Administration and CSUSM Extended Learning.
The HIT program emphasizes information technology, but it also prepares students to deal with the impact of changing practices on institutions. "Most of the programs out there are focusing on the technical aspects of building a medical record system," explains George Diehr, retired professor of Management Science and member of the board of administration of CalPERS. "Our program focuses on managing systems, projects, and people. In implementing and training for new systems, it's important to understand the stress it causes. As such, organizational change is a key part of our curriculum."
The arrival of "big data" has the potential to change healthcare processes, moving care toward an evidence-based standard and better tailoring treatment to meet individual needs. The HIT program provides students with the opportunity to become leaders in understanding and coordinating these transitions. "We hope that we are educating people to be agents of change, who are out on the forefront, and moving us towards improved outcomes," says Diehr. "What we're doing should result in improved outcomes, fewer errors, safer medicine, and constraining the dramatic cost increases in medical care."
Students in the HIT program get exposure to both theory and real world applications. Conferences at the beginning and end of each semester draw speakers from major healthcare organizations. Last year, visiting speakers included the President of Anthem Blue Cross of California and the CIO of Sharp Healthcare. The HIT certificate program is structured to accommodate working adults in San Diego county with Saturday classes. Beginning next summer, CSUSM hopes to expand its commitment to preparing students for this new frontier in healthcare with a three-semester Healthcare Information Management Certificate and a master's degree program, ensuring that CSUSM graduates will continue to assume leadership roles in the digitized healthcare industry. For more information, please visit http://www.csusm.edu/el/certificateprograms/comptech/hit/ or call 760-750-4020.
About CSUSM Extended Learning
As the academic outreach arm of Cal State San Marcos, Extended Learning is a leading provider of professional and continuing education in North San Diego and Southwest Riverside Counties. Offering degree programs, such as a biotechnology master's degree, as well as both academic credit and noncredit professional development courses, Extended Learning helps individuals and organizations achieve their educational and training goals. For more information about Extended Learning at CSUSM please visit http://www.csusm.edu/el/.
Media Contact: Laura Segall, CSUSM Extended Learning, 760-533-2784, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE CSUSM Extended Learning