Since 2010, here at Healthcare IT Today, I’ve been blogging about my experiences as an EMR Vendor (Epic) Certified professional, chronicling my almost decade long journey. First of all, I had no idea I had any professional writing skills, but to my surprise as I authored each of my postings (many thanks to Gwen Darling’s support, encouragement, and reaction to these writings), “she liked it, she really, really liked it!” Therefore, I’m so glad to now have this wonderful online archived “diary” of my Health IT Workforce professional evolution! My writing “muse” for today’s entry is based on my favorite T.V. spiritual “coach” – Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. One of his sermons I could really relate to on a professional level, was when he spoke about his own journey from his humble beginnings to become a nationally known inspirational author and religious leader of one of our nation’s largest mega churches. Early in Joel’s career, when he first took over for his late father’s small church, Joel talked about how he overheard one of his own church members express surprise upon learning that young Pastor Osteen would now be the head Pastor, as she stated out loud, “Joel, the AV (audio visual) guy – really?” Now of course it’s somewhat of a stretch for me to try and relate my Health IT professional career growth to a national religious leader’s progression (…please stay with me folks, after all we are in the “giving season” right now). Bear with me as I hope you’ll see this correlation.
I realize for many people today, it’s very challenging to get hired into the EHR jobs industry, due to it being a highly specialized field of endeavor. My first “stop” on this professional journey began for me in 2001 when I was hired by a university-level healthcare facility as the lead Microsoft Office Professional Specialist/Trainer. Next “stop” led to my transition into the “world” of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system implementation at this same healthcare facility, upon their pilot of a little known (at that time) clinical software application named – EpicCare®. In those days, very few purely clinical professionals were interested in learning a “computer system.” So this employer was just about begging for employees to learn this software application. Therefore, what a great opportunity for a tech “sheek” like me – I really had no idea this would be the best professional decision I could have made.
Since 2004, acquiring my various EpicCare® Clinical Application certifications along the way, my journey continued for many “stops” nationwide, as a EMR Build/Analyst Consultant. As detailed in my “EHR Road Warrior” blog series. Next “stop,” here I am – when earlier this year of 2013, I established Healthcare Information Technology School of New Jersey. This was due to in part to replies I provided to my “…I Got Certified” blog, that I subsequently developed into an online EMR Webinar series, combined with what I learned about the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Health IT Workforce curriculum. So I have now arrived “full circle” by utilizing my Microsoft Applications Training background, EMR Implementation and Certifications expertise, and most importantly my most professionally rewarding fulfillment of acquiring and sharing knowledge, completing tasks to the very best of my ability, and helping others to do the same. With this goal in mind, my school’s EHR Job Prep™ and Career Path classes are designed for you to learn and get practical experience completing tasks directly linked to specific EHR Job Roles.
EHR Job Prep™ and Career Path learning components include access to an actual EHR Clinical System for hands-on navigation and EHR build/analysis activities:
• EMR-107 Working with Health IT Systems: Student User Account Sign-up
Students will work with an actual EHR clinical system with simulated data. As they get hands-on experience playing the role of clinical practitioners using this system. Students will learn what is happening “under the hood.” They will experience threats to security and appreciate the need for standards, high levels of usability, and how errors can occur. Students will also learn how to examine medical office current processes, look at areas for improvement or change based on the transition from paper to computer. They get practical hands-on experience utilizing a workbook reference guide on how to document these processes.
• EMR-108 Installation and Maintenance of Health IT Systems: Student User Account Sign-up
This class covers fundamentals of selection, installation and maintenance of typical Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems. Students will get hands-on experience and get introduced to the principles underlying system configuration including basic hardware and software components, principles of system selection, planning, testing, troubleshooting, and final deployment. System security and procedures will also be introduced in this class.
• EMR-110 Fundamentals of Health Workflow Process Analysis & Redesign: Student User Sign-up
This class covers fundamentals of health workflow process analysis and redesign as a necessary component of complete practice automation. Process validation and change management are also covered. Students will also get experience utilizing supplemental software tools like Microsoft Visio® to document current and future state clinical practice workflows.
• EMR-111 Configuring Electronic Health Records: Student User Account Sign-up
This class provides a practical hands-on experience utilizing the VistA for Education program that will address approaches to assessing, selecting, and configuring EHRs to meet the specific needs of customers and end-users.
I recently received a telephone call from someone who just recently read one of my 3 year-old posts, regarding the most replied to blog here at Healthcare IT today, entitled “I Got Certified for Healthcare IT Jobs – You Can Too! This caller thanked me for all my advice and for sharing my Health IT experiences and also wanted to know how to enroll in my New Jersey State approved online Health IT vocational school. I reflected to myself– Wow, these past 9 years I’ve been so actively involved with Electronic Medical/Health Records implementation with hospitals and clinics, traveling across this country and back. Each challenging, but rewarding step along the way of ongoing intense study, hard work, constant – professional, personal, geographical and environmental readjustments. Yet still, I’ve been so blessed to succeed. This journey has led me to think – “Shirley, the Microsoft Applications Trainer – really?”