Information Communication Technologies & Digital Media Sector Team

Statewide collaboration pays off big time as new CCC healthcare certificate receives approval by industry professional group!

Deputy Sector Navigators Paula Hodge (ICT-Digital Media) and John Cordova (Health), in the South Central Coast Region, are excited to introduce the Healthcare Technology Specialist Certificate Program and digital badge awarded by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This new interdisciplinary, industry-recognized national certification was developed as part of an Industry Drive Regional Collaborative (IDRC) grant funded by the California Community College Chancellors Office.

The overall goal of the grant was to provide a training program for entry level workers in the healthcare arena of health information and IT, and the involvement of three colleges helped the project gain momentum and led to the development of this certificate program.

Following a Statewide Advisory Roundtable, faculty from College of the Canyons, Santa Barbara City College and Saddleback College worked to identify courses that aligned with industry chosen skills and competencies required for this role. A six-course model curriculum was developed as a cross sector, cross regional approach to providing training needs for the incumbent worker. The pilot training was rolled out as part of the grant with the involvement of the three colleges in 2016.

As AHIMA—which had independently conducted its own assessment for this arena–became aware of the work being done in California, some of the key members of the team (DSNs, faculty, and industry liaisons) were invited to become part of its workgroup to develop certification competencies, the national exam itself, and its eligibility requirements.

AHIMA is a national premier professional association of health information management (HIM) professionals worldwide. Serving 52 affiliated component state associations and more than 103,000 health information professionals, it is recognized as the leading source of “HIM knowledge,” and a respected authority for rigorous professional education and training.

The pilot program has now been adopted in the CCC system. The certificate proposed at Saddleback College: Healthcare Technology Optimization Specialist (HCTOS)–mirrors the pilot. Saddleback College is expecting to offer the certificate by Fall 2018. By doing so, Saddleback College will be the first (and currently the only formal program) in the State, and the country to adopt curriculum that aligns with AHIMA’s industry recognized certification.

For more information about the Healthcare Technology Specialist Certificate Program, contact Paula Hodge at .


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