How communities are leveraging the health information technology workforce to implement electronic health records.
Electronic Health Records
Developing a health information technology (HIT) workforce is critical for health care transformation and has taken on added urgency as federal and state governments incentivize providers to implement and adopt electronic health records (EHRs) by 2015. We conducted in-depth interviews with HIT workers in three communities throughout New York State that received state funding to implement EHRs in order to characterize the skilled workforce in each community and compare their roles to the HIT workforce roles recently outlined by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). We found that workers were placed within different organizational models, possessed a variety of backgrounds, and carried out implementations by addressing work gaps between technologies, processes, and personnel. Workers' self-described roles fit ONC's defined workforce roles but appeared to differ in how those roles were operationalized. This paper describes how communities are utilizing available workforce that may inform state and federal training programs.