Health IT Specialist Program Goes Online

To create a training path that leads to in-demand good jobs, as many try to recover from the pandemic, Futuro Health today launched the Health IT Specialist program with Coursera, with new content created by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Offered through the leading online learning platform Coursera, the program will prepare students for entry-level jobs as healthcare help-desk analysts or end-user computer support specialists – “gateway” jobs that lead to higher-wage work, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

According to the Institute’s pre-pandemic analysis of job profiles and histories for people without bachelor’s degrees, 47% of computer-user support specialists transition from a gateway job into a job paying middle wage of $42,000 or above. These jobs are also considered “destination” jobs, or jobs that are likely to continue growing in the future.

“Our new Health IT Specialist program is a strong example of how workers can recover from their job losses and emerge from the pandemic with different opportunities – ones that make social mobility possible,” said Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. “Coursera’s relationship with Johns Hopkins has made it possible to create content that blends the worlds of healthcare and IT to produce workers who are day-one ready.”

Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is leading the recruitment to build awareness for the training opportunity. Already Futuro Health has received more than 1,000 applications for the 250 program slots open to California residents. If selected, students attend tuition-free thanks to underwriting by Futuro Health.

The curriculum consists of Healthcare IT-specific content created by Johns Hopkins, combined with a Google IT Support curriculum, and a course on customer service. Upon completion of the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program – the most popular certificate on Coursera – students will be prepared to take the CompTIA A+ Certification exam. The healthcare part of the program covers roles for health IT and support staff; an introduction to electronic health records; applications and features of electronic health records; clinical decision support and databases; and training, communication and change management, among other topics. Futuro Health provides added support and will monitor student progress and engage students, as necessary, to ensure their success.

Students are expected to take between five and seven months to complete the program.

“Addressing the healthcare IT skills gap through accessible training programs helps individuals, employers, and communities thrive,” said Betty Vandenbosch, Chief Content Officer at Coursera. “We are proud to team up with leaders like Futuro Health and Johns Hopkins University to bring critical, job-relevant content to learners, especially those impacted by the current economic crisis.”

The Health IT Specialist certificate program is ideal for people launching a brand-new career or looking to change careers. There are no course prerequisites for the program, though a general aptitude and interest in computer devices is preferred.

Help-desk analysts process electronic requests to resolve IT issues and route requests to the appropriate source to be resolved. End-user computer support specialists troubleshoot hardware and software tools, such as clinical barcode readers and vital-sign monitoring equipment, for computer users.

Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clínica de La Raza, a community clinic in Oakland, said it is difficult for her clinic to find qualified health IT specialists.

“We just can’t get enough of them,” Garcia said. “We welcome programs like Futuro Health’s that provide another option for a steady supply of these hard-to-find workers. Our clinic benefits because we get the health IT workers we need.”

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