A Bright Future Seen for Health Information Technology Workers

A Little Advice

Remember the 1967 movie "The Graduate"? Remember that one word of advice for the young protagonist? "Plastics."

Well, in reporting the electronic health records story, your Whispers buddy got the impression that advice to the graduate of today might be summed up in three words: "health information technology."

David Miller, CIO of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and David House, his counterpart at Baptist Health, both spoke highly of a privately held company based in Madison, Wis.: Epic, which builds software for health care providers. House went so far as to call it the Microsoft of health information technology.

And Miller, who currently has a staff of about 270, is fretting because he doesn't know where he's going to get the 25 or so new HIT employees he predicts he'll need over the next several years. "I don't know where they're coming from."

At least a couple of Arkansas institutions of higher education, however, have been preparing for the future. Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, for example, offers a degree in health information management. National Park Community College in Hot Springs has instituted a non-degree program, what it calls HealthIT.

Or aim even higher. As Miller said: "It's a good time to be a CIO."