Timothy P. Hickman, M.D M.Ed., M.P.H., adjunct associate professor of biomedical and health informatics, is part of a group of health care professionals working with the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology to develop a curriculum that will support the health information technology industry.
The program is being designed specifically for health care information technology professionals to help health care providers implement electronic health records in ways that will improve quality, safety and cost effectiveness. The curriculum materials will be used by member colleges of the regional Community College Consortia and be available to institutions of higher education throughout the country to support their training of health care IT professionals.
The ONC provided funding in April 2010 to create five Curriculum Development Centers. Each Curriculum Development Center is charged with creating four components, which comprise the curriculum for a semester long course.
Dr. Hickman is working with the Oregon Health & Science University, where he earned a graduate certificate in biomedical informatics. OHSU service as the national training and dissemination center for the project. Other universities involved are Columbia University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Alabama-Birmingham.
The project consists of an interactive process of developing three versions. The first version was released to the Community College Consortia near the end of 2010. Version 2 was made available to the consortia in April of 2011 and now is publicly available at http://www.onc-ntdc.org. The Curriculum Development Centers are currently working on Version 3, which is expected to be completed in April 2012.
Community colleges have been using the material since the release of the first version. Typically, faculty at the community colleges chose units or parts of units to support course they are developing geared to their specific target audience.
Hickman is helping to prepare two of the units of a component that focuses on health care professionals, health care settings, clinical processes, public health, ethics and quality improvement. Each component of the curriculum is broken into units that include learning objectives, suggested student readings, lectures, self-assessments questions, application activities and laboratory work or simulations.