University of North Carolina official speaks to need for Health IT talent

By Industry News Release
09:33 AM

In a recent keynote address at a UNCG-hosted conference, an official from the U.S. Health Information Technology Research Center noted there are 30,000 healthcare organizations in the U.S. planning or implementing a move to Electronic Health Record technology over the near term. And having the right information technology talent is fundamental to their success.

“The talent can reside within the organization or with a vendor, a regional extension center or an academic center,” said Ned Ellington, Ph.D., director of the Health Information Technology Research Center in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. “But you need someone skilled in technology to align the processes you need with your organizational strategy.”

Ellington was speaking at the second-annual Electronic Health Record Implementation conference organized by the UNCG McDowell Research Center, an organization that supports and stimulates the use of information technology in North Carolina and around the globe.

“The conversion to electronic health records is driving a boom in healthcare information technology jobs,” Eric Ford, Ph.D., a Forsyth Medical Center Distinguished Professor at UNCG who helped to organize the conference. “Most experts believe there will be tens of thousands of positions to be filled over the next five years.”

The UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics now offers a graduate certificate program to prepare students for jobs in the fast-growing healthcare information technology management field. The program will launch this fall and will be delivered entirely online. Students will take three required classes and one elective – all scheduled so they can be completed within a single calendar year. “We will offer them a solid foundation in proven principles and in the latest thinking and best practices,” Ford said.

For more information on the UNCG Healthcare Information Technology Certificate Program, visit or contact UNCG at hitm(at)uncg(dot)edu (336.334.4524).