jump to navigation

IMIA Education WG – Tuesday afternoon papers October 28, 2008

Posted by peterjmurray in education, health informatics, IMIA.
Tags: , ,

After attempts to take an ‘official group photo’ lost several people on the walk through the hospital, we managed to get most people together; will provide links to various versions when I get them.

The afternoon session began with a further series of short paper presentations. The first paper, by  Kathryn Brillinger from Conestoga College in Canada, on ‘Intercultural Communication: A “Foundation” Competency in Health Informatics’. The skills are necessary due to the diversity of the student group in terms of gender, ethnic, generational, religious, geographic differences, and especially when they have work experience in Toronto, where 1 in 2 people are from another country. Intercultural communication (ICC) and competency in it are seen as important for health informatics students to work in teams and on projects; teaching team looked at over 150 definitions of culture, and came to a short definition of ‘shared meaning’. Her team have found that health informatics tends to be Western-centric in terms of what is covered in health record systems, and that many of their students are often not aware, when they come to the courses, of many wider ‘political’ and cultural differences between different parts of the world.

Jeannette Murphy presented on ‘Designing an Induction Programme for a Blended Learning Postgraduate Program in Health Informatics’. She reported that both online and face-to-face inductions were needed, due to lack of experience by both teachers and students in online learning; they wanted to prepare students for using the virtual learning environment, and to foster a supportive learning community. Study skills were seen as important due to many of the students having been away from education for some time.  Jeanette described the sequencing and rationale for having face to face induction before online induction; her team’s evaluation, from student feedback, is that face to face feedback is necessary.

Fernando Martin Sanchez, from Spain, on behalf of Victoria Lopez-Alonso, presented on ‘NBIOTIC, an Educational Resource on Convergent Technologies (NBIC) for BioMedical informaticians’. Around 2000, the team began to look at the potential impact of increasing amounts of genomic and bioinformatics data on all levels of health informatics. He says that a new wave/trend that will impact medicine is regenerative and nano medicine, for example development of drugs that bind to nanoparticles. However, as these nw developments are being explored, possible toxic and pathological effects are emerging and need to be explored (eg possibility of carbon nanotubes having similar deleterious effects to asbestos fibres). He described nanoinformatics as ‘ a new discipline to organise, standardise, share, compare, analyse, etc. the vast amounts of data being gathered at the nano scale’. This potentially adds a new level to the spectrum of health/informatics from the nano to population levels, and provides for converging technologies that complement each other at difference levels/scales. The Spanish team are developing a new educational resource to bring together information; part of this work is the EU-funded ACTION-Grid to provide EU-Latin American co-operation.

Paula Otero, from Hospital Italiano in Buenos Aires, presented on ‘Variables and reasons for student’s dropout in elearning courses at the Virtual Campus and distance education in medical informatics’. She says this is the first part of a larger project, and she will present the initial findings.
She summarised the pro’s and con’s of elearning, with the latter including poor local Internet access and lack of motivation. The Virtual Campus was created in 2004, and has 9,000 students registered; Moodle is used as the VLE and there are 80 courses. Drop-out rates in postgraduate courses (health informatics, healthcare management, epidemiology and medicine) in 2007 were explored; informatics courses had one of the lowest completion rates. Older students tended to have higher dropout rates, males had higher rates, as did non-Argentinian students. Further work is going to be undertaken to explore in more detail the reasons for dropping out of courses.

Joanne Valerius, from Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) in USA, presented on ‘Workforce Development and Education of Professionals in Health Information Management and Health Informatics’. OHSU developed a graduate level certificate, through an analysis of established biomedical informatics and health information management programmes and courses.

Sedick Isaacs, from Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, South Africa, presented ‘Some thoughts on trans-national course selection in Medical Informatics’. He said that availability of courses often compels students to seek education in different parts of the world. As a result, culture and human knowledge can influence decisions made, as can differences in language, differences in mental models and traditional views. The student may become acculturated to the new culture in which they study; this may cause problems when they return to their own original culture. He suggested that acculturation may also happen through distance education. Sedick reported how one of his students explored the introduction of the same information systems in hospitals with different cultures, and differences were found in the degree of success in implementation. Professionalisation, a socialisation process, has an effect on acquisition of knowledge, and this has effect on ways in which the profession is practiced; Sedick says that while studies have been done in medicine, there seem to be no such studies for health informatics.

Sedick explored a spectrum of health informatics, from micro to macro levels; in Africa, the focus is more at the macro and sociological and population health levels, and less on the cellular level. Commodification of education/knowledge, the selling of courses, may result in imbalances of course provision and development of some professions in some African countries.

The final short presentation of the afternoon is from Ken Toyoda, from the Japan Association for Medical Informatics, talked about the ‘Certification programme of healthcare information technologist in Japan’. The Japanese association was founded about 25 years ago, as a result of the  medinfo conference held in Tokyo. A certification programme has been developed; starting in 2003, the annual certification examination focuses on healthcare professionals, and many other sectors of the health informatics community, and as a result over 7,000 healthcare information technologists have been certificated. The programme examines skills and knowledge in IT, healthcare and health information systems in Japan; textbooks have been published to accompany the certification. Issues covered include not only technical subjects, but also health information ethics, as well as communication and collaboration. In 2007, a ‘senior healthcare information technologist’ examination was developed, for those with five years experience in healthcare information systems.; this also includes an essay and interview, as well as paper-based test.



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: