Indiana University’s Health IT Training Program

Dr. John T. Finnell | October 12, 2011

The educational experience from the distinguished faculty was unlike any other. The program made us thinkers and knowledge seekers. The faculty has tremendous experience in identifying the right strengths in a student. They felt that I should take on a leadership role, and encouraged me with right mentorship. The direction from faculty has made me shift my focus in seeking leadership opportunities from consulting roles. — Venkata (Vinnie) Rao, Indiana University, Class of 2011; CIO and Enterprise System Analyst for Indiana’s Secretary of State

Vinnie is a shining example of the many talented students enrolled in the Indiana University’s health IT training program, which is funded through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Program of Assistance for University-Based Training (UBT).

This blog post discusses Indiana University’s program and how it is helping to prepare students like Vinnie for important health IT professional roles.

The Indiana Health Information Technology Training Collaborative (I-HITTC)

The Indiana Health Information Technology Training Collaborative is a collaboration between the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) School of Informatics, the Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Regenstrief Institute, an internationally respected biomedical and public health informatics innovator dedicated to improving health by enhancing the quality and delivery of medical care.

I-HITTC is addressing the growing workforce needs for health IT professionals through health IT degree and certificate programs at IUPUI, which include an array of specialized one- and two-year graduate programs offering a combination of classroom instruction, distance-accessible learning opportunities, and on-the-job training.

Health IT Training

I-HITTC has developed and deployed the following health IT training programs:

  • Certificate in Clinical Informatics (Clinician Leader)
  • Certificate in Informatics for Public Health Professionals (Public Health Leader)
  • Certificate in Informatics in Health Information Management and Exchange (Health Information Management and Exchange Specialist)
  • Certificate in Informatics in Health Information Security (Health Information Privacy and Security Specialist)
  • Certificate in Informatics in Health Information Systems Architecture (Programmer and Software Engineer)
  • Master of Science in Clinical Research (Research and Development Scientist)

Students also participate in a practicum to gain experience in the field. For example, students are able to work in hospital systems such as St. Francis Hospital, Indiana University Health North, and Indiana University Health Methodist; or, they have the opportunity to work in an operational health information exchange (HIE) such as the Indiana HIE.

About Our Students

Our initial class of students includes nurses, physicians, computer programmers, and individuals from the business world. Most have already launched an initial career, some in health care and others in information technology.

And these students know how to work hard! Many are employed full- or almost full-time, but are required to complete five courses and a 180-hour practicum within the calendar year.

With ONC support, these students are being offered a variety of coursework options and are undertaking practicums at leading regional health institutions.

To help our students find health information technology career opportunities and expose them to real-word situations, the Indiana School of Informatics schedules information sessions, on-campus recruiting events, mock interviews, and student visits to companies. We also have a listserv that notifies students about job opportunities

Success Stories

Rebecca Lowry, Jeanne Armstrong, and Venkata (Vinnie) Rao are three of the talented students who have graduated through Indiana University’s program this year.

Rebecca Lowry

Rebecca Lowry started our Clinician Leader program in fall of 2010 and has recently accepted the position of Clinical IS Coordinator at Indiana University Health North Hospital. Rebecca mentioned:

“The Indiana University School of Informatics Certificate Program supplied me with the background, skills, and knowledge to pursue and further my career as a registered nurse in the health care technology field.”

Jeanne Armstrong

Jeanne Armstrong started our Clinician Leader program in fall 2010; Jeanne recently accepted the position of Director of Clinical Adoption at Allscripts Health Solutions. She mentioned that the certificate program facilitated this health IT-related job placement. Jeanne stated:

“The Clinical Healthcare Leaders certificate program at IUPUI provided me with the academic foundation and expertise to join a major electronic health record vendor and start contributing to the next generation of clinical IT solutions today!”

Venkata (Vinnie) Rao

Venkata (Vinnie) Rao started as a student in the Indiana University’s Health Information Management and Exchange Specialist program in the fall of 2010. One year later, he’s accepted the position of CIO and Enterprise System Analyst for Indiana’s Secretary of State! In this position, Vinnie will focus on a forward-looking technology strategy to further increase accessibility and efficiency within the agency and to improve service to constituents.

For More Information

We Want to Hear From You

We want to hear your thoughts on Indiana University’s Health IT program! We encourage you to post comments below.