David Blumenthal, the national health information technology (IT) coordinator, recently announced that the adoption of electronic health records may be difficult but will be beneficial for healthcare providers in the long run, Government Health IT reports.
“I know that adopting electronic health records is not easy or problem-free or cost-free or atraumatic, because it can be all those things,” Blumenthal said. “I understand that it is still a big risk.”
However, he notes that this is the reason his office created regional extension centers to help support healthcare facilities implement electronic health record keeping. Hospitals and medical centers are seeking professionals with health information technology degrees to incorporate this type of system into their care facilities.
Currently, there are 62 regional extension centers to offer local technical assistance in achieving meaningful use of health IT. If health facilities show that they can benefit from electronic health records they can received federal incentive funds.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities in the health information management field are expected to increase by 20 percent by 2018, which could translate to an additional 35,000 new jobs.