OCtech adding new certificate program

2013-04-26T02:00:00Z OCtech adding new certificate programBy DALE LINDER-ALTMAN, T&D Staff Writer The Times and Democrat

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College plans to add a 24-hour certificate program in health information management.

The new program, which deals with the electronic processes of keeping medical records, can stand alone or be combined with other programs, Vice President for Academic Affairs Donna Elmore said.

The college will be working in cooperation with the Regional Medical Center in the implementation of the new program, she said.

“About 65 percent of TRMC employees go through OCtech at some time or another,” Elmore said.

OCtech’s Area Commission approved the new program during a meeting last week. Other certificate programs that might eventually be added include financial record keeping and the electronic transfer of patient information from one institution to another.

Elmore said she also sees the possibility of developing a four-year degree in health information management through an articulation agreement with a four-year institution.

OCtech is just in the beginning phase of the program, according to Elmore. The next step will be to submit the program to the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for approval.

Commissioners also approved spending up to $250,000 from the plant fund to purchase an X-ray machine to be used in radiation technology.

Vice President of Business Affairs Retta Guthrie reported that the X-ray machine currently being used by the department is old and has been through quite a few repairs. It uses floppy disks that can no longer be found in the United States and have to be purchased in England.

“We’ve been putting this off for some time,” she said. “It’s had repairs and there have been ups and downs. The last repair was week before last ... to the tune of $5,000 or $6,000.”

There are no inexpensive repairs to an X-ray machine, Guthrie said.

In other business, President Dr. Walter A. Tobin announced that Newberry College is signing an articulation agreement with OCtech, and Elmore said that Claflin University is in the process of making program-to-program articulation agreements with the college.

Tobin reported that he will shortly announce a replacement for Vice President of Student Affairs Bobbie Felder, who is retiring in June.

Elmore announced that graduation will be at 7 p.m. May 7 at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Auditorium on the campus of South Carolina State University.

Valerie Robinson, who is in charge of workforce programs at Palmetto Health Richland hospital, will be graduation speaker.

Elmore also announced that OCtech will offer the following summer programs:

* AMP it Up – an alternative energy camp for middle school students will be offered in June.

* Summer Institute – two Project Lead the Way courses will be offered for students who were unable to participate in the program during the school year.

* College Academy -- for graduating seniors who will be accepted into programs in logistics, nuclear, manufacturing or health science academies. Students will receive an hourly minimum wage to come to school and take two courses. Those who successfully complete the courses will receive funding to continue in the college through Work Investment Works.

Contact the writer: dlinder-altman@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5529.

Copyright 2014 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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