More job training opportunities are coming for local residents with new CFCC healthcare informatics program

More job training opportunities are on the way for local residents thanks to a new program starting at Cape Fear Community College.  CFCC is working with New Hanover Regional Medical Center and other local medical providers to start a new job training program in response to the growing use of computer networks in the healthcare industry.

Starting this fall, CFCC will start a new associate degree program called Healthcare Business Informatics (HBI). The program is designed to meet the growing need for information technology technicians for the healthcare industry.

This new program is the result of an ongoing relationship between the college and major medical employers at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Delaney Radiologists, Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance and others.

College officials and employers say that the job market for graduates of this two-year program is already strong and will increase in the future.

“Based on the feedback we’ve gotten from local healthcare providers, the demand for employees who are trained in the use emerging healthcare information technologies is on the rise,” said Melissa Watson, chair of CFCC’s Business Technologies Department, who will oversee the new program.

“While many professionals have information technology skills, far rarer are professionals who possess both information technology skills and an understanding of important healthcare business concepts, such as medical terminology, medical billing, insurance processing, and electronic health records,” Watson explained.

“The Healthcare Business Informatics program will equip graduates with the combination of technical skills and healthcare-focused knowledge that will make graduates of the HBI program highly sought after by the growing number of medical providers in our area,” Watson said.

Employers in the healthcare industry estimate that the need for healthcare informatics professionals will continue to rise in the coming years with the increased use of electronic health record data in most, if not all, healthcare settings.

According to Joe Norris, the chief technology officer at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, information technology is driving the need for highly skilled workers who can serve as healthcare information technicians to help implement, maintain, organize and refine medical information processes throughout our organization.

“We are looking forward to a close relationship with Cape Fear Community College in order to help shape the program,” Norris said.

Because healthcare providers in our community increasingly rely on informatics professionals to assist in managing electronic medical records, the college is responding to a growing demand for healthcare informatics graduates in its service area, and it is expected that there will be a robust demand in this area for HBI graduates for the foreseeable future.

CFCC expects classes in the HBI program to fill quickly, so interested students are encouraged to apply early. The last day to register for the fall semester is August 13. For more details, visit www.cfcc.edu or call 362-7281.

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