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IMIA Education WG – afternoon papers October 27, 2008

Posted by peterjmurray in education, health informatics, IMIA.
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The first presenter is Steve Bedrick, a PhD student in Portland, Oregon, talking about ‘Non native English speaking researchers and English language information systems’, which relates to areas he wil be investigating as part of his dissertation work. He notes that much of the informatics literature is published in English, but this is not the first language of many people around the world, including informaticians. This, he sees, is a barrier to information access; machine translation tools (Google, Babelfish, etc) may help reduce the height of the barrier to access, and may be better than nothing. He is looking to build some tools and see who they might be useful for; he wants to do preliminary research to help in the design of the tools, through in-person interviews (convenience sample) and electronic questionnaires, using a well-defined population. Clinicians (including students) will be researched, along with researchers, informaticians and others, for whom English is not their first language; the primary focus will be on Spanish speakers. He wants to look at whether they perceive a need to access English language information, what electronic information systems they use and what language-related difficulties or barriers they have faced, and what tools and techniques they have developed to surmount the barriers.

Jeanette Murphy then preented on ‘Fitting  IT training into the medical curriculum’, a project she has been involved in for the past six years. Jeanette has been collecting data on medical students’ IT skills since 1996, which have shown dramatic improvement since 2001; while most have basic comepetencies in IT, they are mostly self-taught. She covered information on facilitating students’ study of ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) to gain basic skills.

Juliana Brixey, from University of Kansas School of Nursing, presented on ‘Creating a toolkit for synchronous and asynchronous computer-mediated communications applications for online health information systems’.  She gave an overview of Web 2.0 tools that facilitate different types of social interaction and communications. CMC tools can provide for collaboration, interactivity and other benefits. University of Kansas have an island within Second Life, which can only be accessed by students or by invitation to others. It is used for a variety of purposes, including data collection activities, for poster presentations individually and in groups. Blogs and social bookmarking via del.icio.us have been trialled.

Jeanette Murphy presented a paper co-authored by her colleagues, on ‘Health informatics postgraduate education at University College London’, and outlined the development of CHIME and its curriculum, and how it meets changing UK needs.

Guillermo Lopez-Campos, from Institute of Health ‘Carlos III’ (biotic.isciii.es) in Madrid, Spain, presented on ‘Training health professionals in bioinformatics’. His department has been working on biomedical informatics since 1998, and began by discussing the importance of personalised medicine mediated through genomics. as an underpinning motivation for teaching bioinformatics in the medical curriculum. A number of different learning modes have been trialled for teaching different subjects, including face to face and online courses.

Claire Dixon-Lee, from AHIMA in the USA, presented on ‘An international academic curriculum for the Health Records Administration (HRA)/Health Information Management (HIM) professional workforce’. They are currently looking at curriculum models to develop a scalable curriculum that might be adaptable to global needs and settings. AHIMA have developed online courseware, using a co-operative model to encourage sharing and development of new materials.

The final presentation of the afternoon was from Jana Zvarova, from Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic, on ‘Higher education program in biomedical informatics’. She described the development of the EU-funded EuroMISE project for developing materials relating to medical informatics, statistics and epidemiology, and the IT-EDUCTRA project.

The day has covered a diverse range of issues from a number of countries and disciplines. I have not had much time to reflect on common issues from the day, but maybe tomorrow – it’s been a long day.



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