DSU health information technology program partners with Good Samaritan Society

Dakota State University’s (DSU) Health IT Workforce Development Training Program has been working in partnership with The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society to provide health IT training to their workforce located in 24 states. The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, established in 1922, is the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of senior care and services. The Good Samaritan Society (GSS) — headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D. — serves more than 27,000 people in 240 locations nationwide. Services range from traditional skilled nursing care, senior living apartments, home health, assisted living, hospice care, inpatient and outpatient therapy and specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

DSU's Workforce Development Training Program began work in April of 2010 to offer online training in key health IT roles identified by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT. Five certificate training options have been developed and offered in both instructor-led and self-paced formats, and work also includes projects such as the partnership with GSS. The health IT training program serves as a valuable resource for the healthcare industry and compliments DSU's strong academic programs in health information management and health informatics.

As GSS moves forward with planning and implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR) in its skilled nursing facilities, they recognized a need to provide foundational health IT training to both its Health Information Management (HIM) department staff and to key leadership positions based in the care centers and at the GSS corporate office location. By using the health IT curriculum taught in DSU’s Health IT Workforce Development Training Program, customized certificates were designed to meet specific health IT knowledge gaps. 

One main goal of the training is to prepare the GSS staff for specific training on the EMR.  DSU’s HIT Educational Specialist Jamie Husher explained the foundational health IT training prepares staff to understand concepts that will help them learn the new EMR system. In other words, employees will be better consumers of the EMR training and appreciate the opportunities and challenges associated with implementation of an EMR system.

According to GSS HIM Director/ Privacy Officer, Jen Sundby, “Our partnership with Dakota State University has been an exciting and positive experience.  The online platform provided a supportive learning environment that is flexible and convenient. In addition there is a sense of community learning as students are able to discuss topics they are learning about with each other across the country.” 

Just over 200 students have successfully completed the HIM training. According to one HIM Director, the training will provide a good reference as their center looks forward to implementation of the EMR.

The leadership training will kick off in early February 2012 with just over 430 employees registered. The leadership training is shorter and focused on helping facility leaders understand how implementation and adoption of an EMR will impact the day-to-day operations of their facility. Both training opportunities will be offered as new employees onboard with GSS.

Visit http://www.hittraining.dsu.edu/dsu-program.aspx to learn about DSU’s training offerings.

Last Updated: 2/7/12