With the end of 2010 approaching, I am asked with increasing frequency whether we met the goals set out by the 10x10 ("ten by ten") program, which was launched in 2005 with the goal of training 10,000 healthcare professionals in informatics by the year 2010. Now that 2010 is coming to an end, how did we do?
I can say that the program has been an unqualified success. The OHSU 10x10 offerings trained nearly 1000 (999, to be precise) people, with another eight universities training an additional 258 more, for a total of 1257 from 2005-2010. Many of those of completing the program have enhanced their current careers. From the OHSU courses, about 15% pursued additional training in the field. While our numbers did not add up to 10,000, there was clearly value for those who completed the course. The program also helped expand educational capacity in the field generally and highlighted the need that led to legislation such as Section 3016 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the resulting ONC Workforce Development Program.
The 10x10 courses are offered on-line, with an in-person session at the end that brings participants together face to face. The amount of material in each course is roughly comparable to an introductory three-credit graduate-level course, as shown in the syllabus from the OHSU course. In a demonstration that the Internet knows no boundaries, the course has attracted participants from all corners of the globe, such as Argentina, Hong Kong, Singapore, Israel, Pakistan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, China, India, and Nigeria. The enthusiasm from Latin America led a group from Hospital Italiano of Buenos Aires to translate the course into Spanish and offer it across Latin America. About 500 individuals have completed this version of the course from a number of Spanish-speaking countries. Another version of the OHSU course has been offered in Singapore four times, with the in-person session held in Singapore.
We absolutely plan to continue the 10x10 program beyond the end of 2010. Two more OHSU offerings started in late 2010, along with a few more from other universities. There are no plans whatsoever to end the program, whose need continues to be demonstrated as increasing numbers of healthcare professionals and hospitals seek to achieve "meaningful use" of electronic health records. Of course, biomedical informatics is about more than meaningful use and EHRs, as demonstrated in the course syllabus.
AMIA has already changed the tag line of the program from "10,000 Trained by 2010" to "Training Next-Generation Informatics Leaders." Maybe we should just say that 10x10 now the program that aims to train 10,000 individuals in biomedical and health informatics without giving a specific deadline. Clearly the need remains.
The end of 2010 is also a time to reflect on how we arrived here. In 2005, Dr. Charles Safran, who was then President of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), began taking an interest in the informatics capacity of healthcare organizations. In a letter to the editor of JAMA, he stated that each hospital in the US should have at least one physician and one nurse trained in informatics. Meanwhile, AMIA was looking to beef up its e-learning offering, but found new development of content would be prohibitively expensive. At the same time, I had already been offering the introductory course in the OHSU Biomedical Informatics Graduate Program on-line for some time. It was apparent that we could repackage the course relatively easily. Building on Charlie's call, I coined the name 10x10, aiming to train 10,000 people within five years, by 2010.
I have thoroughly enjoyed developing and teaching the 10x10 course. It has been personally gratifying to meet so many people who took the course and found it of value. I am delighted that some colleagues from Argentina translated the course to Spanish, as noted above. The course name even made its way into legislation in a bill that passed the US House of Representatives (though not the US Senate), the 10,000 Trained by 2010 Act introduced by Congressman David Wu (D-OR). A demo version is available for those who want to take a look.
Some have asked why the Chair of a department would enjoy teaching the introductory course so much. I take great satisfaction in providing people their first introduction to the field of biomedical and health informatics. I enjoy the give and take with students, including those who challenge me. The 10x10 course and my other educational accomplishments make it clear that these activities are my passion and calling in life.