The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 25, 2013

New River expands health IT program


— New River Community and Technology College is expanding its Health Information Technology program to include training technicians to implement, deploy and support health care IT systems.

Classes will cover regulatory requirements, health care technology/acronyms, practice workflow while adhering to codes of conduct, policies and security best practices.

New River’s Health Information Technology associate degree was developed at the Nicholas County Campus in Summersville to prepare students for careers in health information management. The program is also now offered at the Greenbrier Valley Campus in Lewisburg and the Beckley Campus as well as the Nicholas County Campus.

Nick Bassett, associate professor of business and computer science, worked closely with Karen Tully, instructor of allied health, to develop this program which trains a student in maintaining, compiling, analyzing and evaluating health data, controlling the use and release of health information and supervising the staff.

“This is a new career that is in high demand,” Bassett noted. “Hospitals, outpatient and ambulatory care facilities, physicians’ offices, nursing homes and other long term care facilities, health insurance groups and companies, as well as local, state and national health agencies, provide employment opportunities for graduates from this degree program.”

Training at New River includes the use of the software being used in the health care industry nationwide.

“The federal government over the past several years has been encouraging, if not requiring, the health care industry to move to electronic health records, and this program trains the students to meet those needs,” Bassett said.

 The new program has the same goals in mind, but with an emphasis on computer science.

“This new program, Healthcare IT Technician, will prepare students for the CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician exam which is considered the most noted certification in this new field of endeavor,” Bassett explained.

  New River also offers an associate degree in Computer Science: Network Operating Systems Administration, which prepares students for careers in the computer industry and to meet the qualifications for a number of industry-recognized certifications, including CompTIA A+; CompTIA Network-plus; and Microsoft Certified Professional certification. These certifying organizations are independent of colleges.

Classes for the fall semester will begin Aug.19, but registration must be completed by Aug. 9. To schedule an appointment to enroll and register for fall classes, call the Beckley Campus, 304-929-5450; the Greenbrier Valley Campus, 304-647-6560; or the Nicholas County Campus 304-872-1236, or visit www.newriver.edu for further information.