In mid-2020, Optimum Healthcare IT launched Optimum CareerPath™, forming partnerships across the country to create career pathways between college students and the healthcare industry. The Optimum CareerPath program bridges the industry's skill gap by providing employer-focused technical and soft skills necessary for entry into the workplace.
Meet the first Optimum CareerPath class below:
So, what is Optimum CareerPath training? The Optimum CareerPath training program consists of two phases: Core Education and Technical Education. This training program starts by setting a solid foundation of both healthcare and healthcare IT knowledge. Topics include hospital system structure and makeup to understand the size and scope of healthcare, both within the organization and its community impact. Layered on top of that comes the IT structure and the intersections between the larger organization and more internal IT topics like 3rd party applications, IT governance, Lean Six Sigma, etc. Throughout all of this are opportunities to hone their professional skills development through group projects, case study report outs to leadership, etc.
Upon completing the Core Education program, our students then move into their respective application-specific technical tracks for phase two. Course development includes understanding our client needs and what areas of the Core Education program were sufficient for that application versus those that provided a great introduction to expand upon in the technical track. This phased approach aims to arm all students with that same base knowledge anyone entering healthcare and healthcare IT will need to be successful regardless of the application. It is much easier to begin to teach someone a specific application if they have even a high-level understanding of the business that feeds into that application.
My favorite example of this based on my own experience would be building Epic Inpatient Order sets. Order set build efforts to go through many rounds of design and review with the physicians that will use these daily in their practice—during these meetings understanding how to "build" that order set technically in Epic is essential. What is even more important is understanding and guiding the physician on the best setup for the workflow the order set is intended to be used. Our technical track for an Epic Inpatient Orders analyst includes the required Epic certification training courses, but these courses are started after completing the Core Education. We also spend a significant amount of time mentoring the CareerPath class with seasoned IT professionals who continue to expand on the importance of the technical build vs. understanding the overall business need/workflow that build supports.
Since we launched the first Optimum CareerPath class 6 weeks ago, this fantastic group of young professionals has jumped into the program headfirst. They are about to complete the General Education portion of the program and begin the final technical tracks each has been assigned. We expect all to graduate in early April and are very excited to share and celebrate their success.