With help from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth’s Human Development Center is taking steps toward making its health records electronic.

Through a workforce training grant worth more than $77,000 and a partnership with St. Scholastica, the center’ records could be switched over by late 2015, according to a release.

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The grant was written by a group of professors and program directors at St. Scholastica in response to a federal mandate that behavioral health care providers update their record keeping practices.

Brooke Palkie, a professor in St. Scholastica’s health information and informatics management program and one of the grant’s authors, said smaller health care providers often struggle to find the time and resources to train staff members in electronic record keeping.

“There’s not a whole lot of resources to spend on these issues,” Palkie said.

Under the grant, 79 employees from the Human Development Center will receive training in documentation, coding and data interpretation. The center will be responsible for reporting the data, as well.

This September, faculty and students at St. Scholastica will work with the center to implement training programs on certain elements of electronic record keeping.

Students will have the chance to study the center’s workflow and current recordkeeping system.

“We are excited about this initiative and the chance to partner with St. Scholastica,” said Asia Johnson, the center’s director of compliance. “This is an opportunity to strengthen the workforce in the (health information management) and social work areas that will greatly impact both the college and our agency.”

The center is a private, nonprofit organization devoted to treating issues related to mental health.