The programs -- related to the input, storage and safety of patient information -- serve a high-growth industry, said
"There is a huge need for health information coders since the federal government is implementing a new classification system on
Shaw said because of the labor-intensive requirements of the new classification system to be implemented, industry experts are predicting a 40 to 50 percent drop in productivity in existing workers. Part of the grant will be focused on providing classes for workers who need to train on the new system to keep their jobs, Shaw said.
New workers also will be in high demand, and coders start at about
The coding certificate program can be completed in four semesters, and may be a good career strategy for those who are unemployed, underemployed or who need advanced skills, Shaw said. The program also reaches out to veterans and their spouses and to WSU students.
"We really want to make a difference with those who have looked at
Shaw said a variety of certificate and degree programs are available. As student demand increases, the new funds will allow for the hiring of more adjunct professors to teach more classes.
The biggest focus will be on more and enhanced online, hybrid and independent study courses. The grant will allow WSU to purchase equipment to be located at three interactive broadcast and remote receiving sites around the state.
"Online courses are a great option for many students, but they can be isolating," Shaw said. "I want to take a person who lives in
The grant also will allow the department to purchase video-capture equipment, which records lectures and demonstrations that then are readily available to students.
The grant also will provide the needed capacity for health records and network security coursework offered through WSU's Network Management Technologies. NTM courses train students as network managers, with the knowledge to use physical and technical safeguards to ensure data and information security.
"Currently, they overlap more in the job setting than in coursework, but we hope to have a closer relationship with them in coursework through this grant," Henderson said.
For information on the
"It's very exciting," Shaw said of the grant. "The challenge we have in the health information industry is we are not a well-known industry. We serve a unique niche market. I tell my students, 'If you decide you don't want to touch patients, we are the place for you.' Our work is very much about health care and supporting the health care industry."
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