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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact: Brian P. Foley
Interim Provost
Medical Education Campus
Northern Virginia Community College
(703) 822-6515
bfoley@nvcc.edu

CELEBRATE INNOVATION IN THE HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY FIELDS
November 5–11 is National Health Information and Technology Week

November 6, 2006, Northern Virginia -- November 5 through 11 is Health Information and Technology (HI&T) Week—an annual event recognizing the work of the professionals who manage patient health information. The move from paper to electronic health records (EHRs) will help doctors, nurses, and other medical staff makes important healthcare decisions on a real-time basis.  But who ensures the information is complete, accurate, and kept confidential? This is the role of the health information management (HIM) professional.

“Health information management is dedicated to the effective and efficient maintenance and utilization of the patient information and healthcare data needed to deliver quality treatment and care to the public,” stated Dr Robert G. Templin, President, Northern Virginia Community College and Chair of NoVaHealthFORCE.  “As the healthcare industry moves further into the information age, the role of the health information management professional is becoming even more critical.”

Fast-paced changes in technology have accelerated the demand for HIM professionals. The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, projects a 49 percent growth in the number of HIM workers by 2010, making HIM one of the nation’s fastest-growing health occupations. The field currently offers nearly 40 different work settings and more than 125 job titles.  Opportunities in the field include management of a hospital’s HIM department, working in information systems with implementation of the EHR, or designing health information systems for a software vendor.

The demand for HIM workers in Northern Virginia alone is projected to be 2,547 HIM workers by 2020. Without new and effective workforce development and education strategies there will be a 47.5% vacancy rate in Northern Virginia for HIM workers in 2020

NoVaHealthFORCE (www.NoVaHealthFORCE.org) a coalition of business, academic, healthcare and community leaders have developed strategies (http://www.novahealthforce.com/solutions/index.html ) for addressing this healthcare workforce shortage. NoVaHealthFORCE has aligned with the Northern Virginia Technology Council (www.nvtc.org), Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board (www.myskillsource.org ), MTS Mitretek System (www.mitretek.org) Northern Virginia Community College (www.nvcc.edu/medical ), DeVry University (www.devry.edu ), and George Mason University (www.gmu.edu) to strengthen the role of the Northern Virginia region as the leader in Health Information Management and Technology innovation and education in the United States

“HI&T Week is a great opportunity to learn more about the roles these professionals play in our healthcare system, and to recognize and celebrate their contributions to patient care,” adds Templin.

HI&T Week is sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA).  This year’s theme is “Managing Information, Improving Care.”  For additional information about the HIM profession, visit AHIMA’s Web site at www.ahima.org or CHIMA’s Web site at www.echima.ca.

AHIMA and CHIMA are national HIM professional associations. Together, they represent more than 50,000 members dedicated to the effective management of personal health information needed to deliver quality healthcare to the public. Founded in 1928 to improve the quality of medical records, AHIMA is committed to advancing the HIM profession in an increasingly electronic and global environment through leadership in advocacy, education, certification, and lifelong learning.  CHIMA was founded in 1942 to provide a national forum for HIM professionals to share their expertise. Its federal charter was obtained in 1949. For information about the associations, go to www.ahima.org in the US or www.echima.ca in Canada.

 
 
 
 
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