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Alameda Services Asks: Is Your Workforce Ready to be Employed in an EHR Job?

LongIsland.com

EHR Training Organization Identifies What it Takes for Healthcare Staff to be Ready to become Certified Electronic Health Record Specialists (CEHRS); Proven Workforce Development, Healthcare and EHR Experts Provide EHR Employment Readiness Checklist

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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15, 2011 - Now more than ever, workforce development organizations must be innovative and able to quickly adapt to the changing needs of the workplace and the region. One growing area for workforce development is the Certified Electronic Health Record Specialists (CEHRS). Job growth for medical records and health information technicians is expected to grow 20 percent or more over the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in order to qualify for these hot jobs, the workforce must pass stringent certification requirements to become competent, experienced staff members for healthcare organizations. Alameda Services, an electronic health records consulting and training organization, has developed an Electronic Health Records (EHR) Employment Readiness Checklist to help workforce development organizations and healthcare providers better assess the readiness of their workforce to enter the growing EHR job market. More information about Alameda Services is available at http://www.alamedaservices.com.

Accurate and easily accessible patient records are critical to the operation of every healthcare office, hospital and medical facility. Creating, maintaining and securing these records is the job of the Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist. Alameda Services has developed training standards and processes that often exceed the requirements of the National Healthcare Association (NHA), the governing body for CEHRS certification.

"We believe that EHR employment readiness requires training and knowledge of both the healthcare industry and the technology that the industry uses. We often see one or the other, but it isn't sufficient," says Lena Feygin, Dip LC, executive vice president and director of business development for Alameda Services. The training organization has developed a four-point checklist to help prospective workforce development organizations, students and healthcare providers assess the readiness of an EHR candidate for certification and employment.

EHR Employment Readiness Checklist

1. Possess a basic education. Candidates for CEHRS certification must possess either a high school diploma or equivalency, and they must successfully complete a training program or have one year's work experience in the field.
2. Study with an NHA-approved curriculum. Ensure that the training program is approved by the National Healthcare Association (NHA). "Training organizations that provide approved national certification, such as CEHRS, as part of their programs report better recruitment, retention, and placement," says Feygin.
3. Obtain 100 hours of consistent training. While the NHA only requires 60 hours of training, Alameda Services suggests that additional training is necessary. "We provided students in our EHR training programs for La Guardia Community College and the Met Council on Jewish Poverty with over 100 hours of training," says Feygin. "The NHA certification has 100 items and we want students to be over-prepared to pass the exam."
4. Get healthcare and EHR expertise. Training for the CEHRS exam requires that students understand both healthcare practice operations as well as medical record-keeping information. "It's not enough to understand how a healthcare practice operates or how some software works; Electronic Health Record Specialists must understand both in order to be effective," says Feygin.
5. Learn multiple EHRs. While there are many competing EHR software packages, there are a great number of similarities. Becoming trained in multiple EHR programs makes students more employable, according to Feygin. "Healthcare EHR staffers who have hands-on experience with more than one EHR are able to provide guidance to their healthcare practices about which one might be the best fit. They can also quickly adapt to an existing EHR as a new employee."

About Alameda Services
ALAMEDA Services specializes in workforce development through training and eLearning consulting. The company's mission is to bridge the gap between the healthcare and technology industries, and to satisfy their growing workforce demands by providing technology and educational expertise. More information is available at http://www.alamedaservices.com
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