A Basic Understanding of Information Technology Certification Programs

Every industry in this time and age requires information technology to be able run smoothly and effectively. Due to this factor there is an increasing demand for experts in the field of IT. Technological aids are being used to teach in schools, hospitals are using advanced medical technology and also government institution needs to share and store data in large volumes. These are just a few of the many instances of the role of technology in most organizations.

As days progress, there is demand for qualified experts that have certification in information technology. Unlike in the past IT has wide areas of specialization. In view of this fact, colleges, and universities keep on researching to unsure that the certification programs that are relevant and add value to graduates. Technology has evolved to capture issues of innovation, development as well adaptation of existing technology.

The professional certification in computer and related technology is commonly known as information technology certification. The IT certification programs are offered by most colleges and universities. This certification programs are an equivalent of ACCA certification in the accounting field. However unlike most fields, IT is ever changing and the certification programs acquired at one time or another need to be updated and renewed time after time to stay relevant in market. This is applicable mostly to certifications that revolve around products and services offered by a certain company.

Information technology has several specialty fields that one can focus on. The fields offered for specialization include data base management, information and systems analysts, information systems auditing, software engineering and network administration. Most of the certification programs in information technology are offered in progressive stages offering different skills and take one at a time.

There are many IT certification programs are also available online. Caution should be observed while pursuing a program online as they are many schools offering online studies but not all certifications are acceptable in the job market. This is the case even is some of on-campus programs that end up being irrelevant in the industry. Institutions should take time to invest their resources in doing research to guarantee they offer programs that are relevant and up to date.

Establishment of research and development centers for staff and students is another way that schools, colleges and university can invest in to ensure they are not being passed by time and technology. Students in information technology field need a platform to study, research and also develop relevant technology in their field of interest. The colleges and universities will greatly benefit by the innovations and developments achieved in such data centers. This ends up being a two way benefit for the college and the students who get a practicing avenue for what they learn.

Those wishing to gain a meaningful understanding in the field should consider obtaining certification. People looking to changing careers would also consider this a good start point to get into the diverse field of information technology. The basic requirement to start a career in IT would be joining accredited information certification programs to pursue academic advancement. Most professionals need IT certification programs to remain relevant in the market.

Information Technology Career Preparation Training Options

When looking to obtain a higher education in information technology there are many options available. You can pursue a career that meets you individual goals by choosing from a variety of specialized areas of study. Training can be completed at different levels to allow you to receive the educational career preparation that is right for you. Enrollment in an accredited school or college will help you to obtain the higher education that is necessary for you to pursue a career in information technology. With numerous opportunities available, you can start by learning more information technology career preparation training options.

Professionals in this field are trained to carry out a number of tasks based on the career that they have chosen. You can learn to work with various computer systems for a number of reasons. Training will allow you to pursue the degree and career that meets your individual needs and goals. You can look into:

  • Associate
  • Bachelor
  • Master
  • Doctoral

…degree training programs in information technology. Studies can last anywhere from two to eight years depending on the level of education needed to enter into the career you desire. Accredited career preparation can give you the skills and knowledge to enter into a variety of careers.

There are numerous professions available in information technology. You can select the level of education that allows you to enter the career of your dreams. You can specialize in areas such as:

  • Computer Information Science
  • Information Security
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Information Systems

…and more. Accredited higher education training in these areas will cover a variety of topics to help you gain the skills you need to enter into a successful career. The area of specialty will decide the courses that must be studied.

Coursework will be different for each level of degree and the area of study that is selected. You can obtain the accredited education that will help you succeed by completing training in web development, databases, systems analysis, hardware components, and computer software. You can also complete computer security training, as well as telecommunications, user interface design, application testing, and many other subjects related to the career and specialized area you wish to enter. There are a variety of professions that can be pursued once an accredited higher education is obtained in information technology. Possible career opportunities can include working as a:

  • Software Developer
  • Support Specialist
  • Systems Analyst
  • LAN Administrator
  • Computer Programmer
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

…and other related professions. Obtain the accredited educational training you need to pursue the career of your dreams by enrolling in an information technology school or college today.

Full accredited programs offer you the best quality education available. You can ensure this by making sure the program you choose carries full accreditation from an agency like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology ( http://www.accsc.org/ ). Start by researching information technology schools and colleges to find the one that’s right for you and enrolling in the degree program that meets your individual needs and goals.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Buying a Clinical Information Technology System

Buying a clinical information technology system challenges every organization’s senior management team. Unlike other administrative applications that help manage a facility, the clinical information technology system touches directly the lives of patients and the work flow of physicians, nurses, and other clinicians. Careers and entire organizations can be ruined by poor vendor choices and botched implementations (e.g., installation of the software and hardware) and deployments (e.g., introduction of applications to end users). Poorly chosen clinical information technology systems can drive physicians to competitor institutions, impact facility accreditation, and in some cases invite litigation due to unexpected morbidity or mortality.

As frightening as this task is, the best way to be successful is to be humble. Senior executives must accept the fact that full investigation of the features and functionality of clinical information technology systems before purchase is impossible. No individual or committee has the technical expertise and available time to effectively evaluate and fully review the capabilities of a comprehensive clinical information technology system. Therefore, organizations must base their decision to purchase systems on factors that function as surrogates for the usefulness and appropriateness of the systems in its institutions. These may include such items as the source of clinical content included with the system, list of organizations using the system, and perceived ease of use of the application.

Evaluate Live Systems

Although information technology vendors utilize demonstrations of their software to educate clients about their products, viewing working systems deployed in patient care areas offers the most valuable information. Unfortunately for both vendors and purchasers, the competitiveness of the healthcare information technology marketplace, couple with the complexity of these systems, encourages vendors to showcase software products during demonstrations that are either partially completed or are in beta version.

Therefore, often what is seen in these demonstrations does not accurately represent the features and functionality currently available. It is important to take vendors at their word when they declare that the demonstrated software is representative of features and functionality under development.

Focus on Deployed Working Systems Only

To increase the probability of purchasing a product that will satisfy the needs of an organization, institutions most focus on existing, working, deployed, and implemented versions of the applications being considered for purchase. The best way to evaluate current-state versions of applications is to visit current clients of each vendor and to witness the daily use of the various applications. Organizations must be patient and allocate adequate time to see the systems working under all conditions. This includes visiting multiple hospitals and various patient care areas throughout each hospital.

Forge Solid Vendor Relationships

For most organizations, it is more prudent to engage in relationships with vendors that have established working applications that can be immediately deployed and utilized. Although working, released software will have its inevitable share of problems, it is likely there will be fewer problems and solutions will be readily found.

In some cases, it may be advantageous to engage in relationships with vendors that are offering software that hast just been released or is under development. In these instances, organizations must enter the agreement recognizing the potential benefits from such arrangements but also the problems and delays in the software that may be associated with purchasing new, untested software. Organizations that do not have extensive information technology infrastructure and departments should be wary of entering into these types of arrangements.

The following sections outline a recommended process for choosing clinical information technology for an institution.

Review and Embrace Strategic Vision

The purchase of all clinical information technology tools must be driven by the clinical strategic vision of the organization. The strategic vision represents the views and aspirations of the board of directors, the medical staff, and other clinical professionals in the organization. Clearly, cost control is always a consideration, but the importance of patient safety and quality healthcare overwhelmingly drives decision making.

Broadly Explore Options

A high level of evaluation of your organization will quickly identify the potential suppliers of the application software required. In almost all cases, there will be a relatively small number of vendors who provide software that meets the needs of an organization. Identification of these vendors can be done through a request for information process ( RFI ), searching the Internet, and contacting colleagues at institutions similar to one’s own.

Understand the Vendor

As relationships with application vendors extend far beyond the implementation phase, a strong, open, and trusting relationship is necessary to be able to ensure that implemented software will deliver the expected results to an organization. Because problems will arise, a positive relationship is required to ensure that problems are resolved. A good relationship with a vendor, as exhibited by respectful an honest interactions with all representatives of the organization, unequivocally trumps perceived advantages in features and functionality that might be seen in other products.

Evaluate The Product

The best way to evaluate clinical information technology applications is to actually see them functioning in a real working environment. Unless an organization is working as a development partner with a vendor, various client organizations, comparable to the purchasing institution, should be available to be visited to observe the applications being used by clinical professionals.

Purchasing organizations must budget more than one day to visit these client organizations and see the applications being used at a variety of times during the day. Workloads vary, with morning physician rounds often presenting the greatest demands upon systems because of their high number of new patient orders and the need for patient care documentation. In addition, evening use represents a time when information technology staffing may be low or system maintenance may occur.

Organizations should request that their representatives be allowed to visit patient care areas unencumbered and be able to ask questions of the various users of the applications. The more institutions visited, the better the information that can be collected to evaluate the applications and the vendor.

Understand Pricing

Vendor pricing is greatly influenced by the level of ongoing maintenance payments, the strategic value of the organization to the vendor, and market forces. Therefore, in negotiating products with vendors, be sure to take a very broad and considered view of the products, services, and support being provided.

Cost of ownership includes not only the purchase price of the software but also the ongoing maintenance fee to the vendor and the cost of implementing, deploying, and maintaining the system during its life. Finally, the importance of the quality of the relationship with the vendor cannot be overemphasized, as it will have the greatest impact on the success of implementation and, eventually,clinician adoption.

Secure Adoption

Implementing clinical information technology without broad involvement and support by the clinical staff-requiring focus on all stakeholders, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals-all but guarantees a failed and wasteful deployment. Clinical information technology systems alone do not fix clinical problems, advance safety, or reduce costs by themselves. These systems provide tools that can be used by clinicians to change how they deliver care. Only with clinician creativity, insight, and experience molding the implementation can new processes deployed with these tools deliver acceptable work flows and generate good outcomes.

If deployment is poor and disruptive, clinicians will create work-arounds to these failing system processes, a development that guarantees medical errors and unacceptable waste. By securing adoption, organizations can be assured of usable systems that are embraced by clinicians and that are able to deliver expected and much-needed clinical and financial outcomes.

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