Nearly $1 billion to be invested in the emerging health information technology industry

February 13th, 2010 - 2:39 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON D.C. (BNO NEWS) – Nearly $1 billion in Recovery Act awards to advance the adoption and use of health information technology and train workers for health care jobs were announced on Friday by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Hilda Solis.

This Recovery Act investment will help the emerging health information technology (IT) industry by facilitating it to over 100,000 hospitals and supporting tens of thousands of jobs.

The HHS grant awards total over $750 million and are part of a federal initiative for the meaningful use of health IT. The awards will help health care providers to adopt and use electronic health records in an efficient way to improve the quality and efficiency of the health care system.

In order to accomplish this goal $386 million will be used to facilitate health information exchange at state and regional level. The rest will be managed by non-profit organizations to support the development of regional extension centers that will aid health professionals in using and implementing health IT. By 2014 it is expected to have this goal fulfilled.

More than $225 million awarded by the DOL will be used in training 15,000 people for developing the required skills for a health care career as well as IT or high growth fields. The DOL expects that in two years a rough estimate of 10,000 job opportunities will open in areas like nursing, pharmacy technology and information technology.

“The investments announced today will ensure thousands of workers across the nation can receive high-quality training and employment services, which will lead to good jobs in healthcare and other industries offering career-track employment and good pay and benefits,” said Labor Secretary Solis.

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