UND highlights health worker shortage with new Web siteA new Web site developed at UND is shining a brighter spotlight on America’s shortage of health care workers.
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
A new Web site developed at UND is shining a brighter spotlight on America’s shortage of health care workers.
On Thursday, the university’s Center for Rural Health unveiled in Washington, D.C., what it calls a “clearinghouse” for information on the health work force.
As the U.S. population ages and the number of workers, particularly family doctors, are not keeping up, many in the health care field are seeing a developing crisis. North Dakota, too, is feeling the pinch.
Yet, finding the data to show that’s what’s happening hasn’t been easy, said Kristine Sande, the center’s project director.
The new Web site, www.HealthWorkforceInfo.org, categorizes links to information all over the Web, simplifying the search for information.
Policymakers could, for example, use it to dig up data about where the needs for workers are. Hospital administrators could find out what other hospitals are doing to train and retain their workers,
The center also has three digital librarians that can, at no charge, help Web users if they don’t find what they need.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided a $3.75 million five-year grant to develop and run the Web site.
The Center for Rural Health might be able to apply for another grant after five years, Sande said.
HealthWorkforceInfo.org is a natural outgrowth of the expertise the center has developed in producing Web sites. It now maintains more than 10 sites.
The first major project was in 2002, when the center got a grant to design the Rural Assistance Center at www.RAConline.org. That Web site has since received more than 2.5 million visits.
Staff learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work from that project, Sande said, including how to search for information and update the Web site with minimal effort. That expertise, she said, helped win the grant for the new Web site.
Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to email@example.com.