MILWAUKEE (Jan. 10, 2012) –Milwaukee Area Technical College was awarded $325,551 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the second year and final year of the Health Information Technology (HIT) program in Summer 2011. The college received a grant for the same amount in spring 2010 to begin HIT. MATC was one of 17 colleges in the Midwest Community College Consortia Program chosen to offer this six-month certificate program. The grants were announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The HIT program was developed in response to a federal mandate called the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which requires health care providers throughout the U.S. to develop accurate, well-protected electronic patient health records which can be quickly and easily accessed by all authorized health care workers.
HITECH is intended to improve the overall quality of health care delivery by making records easily accessible to authorized health care providers so that patients' conditions, medications and medical history can be considered in treatment. Access to this information is expected to save lives. Many health care organizations have begun implementing the shift to electronic records. The federal government is offering financial incentives for successful early adoption of phases of the new requirements.
When the HIT training project ends in August 2012, MATC is expected to have trained 300 information technology or health care students in four designated health information technology roles. Students with appropriate prerequisite education or experience are able to complete the training within six months or less.