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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.


IMIA Education WG – academia and eHealth keynote October 27, 2008

Posted by peterjmurray in education, health informatics, IMIA.
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The start of the afternoon session is a keynote from Kendall Ho, from University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Medicine, titled ‘Involving academia in e-health capacity building – a Canadian perspective’. He framed questions around meeting health information needs today, and how to train today’s and tomorrow’s practitioners, how to keep up with innovations, and how we might turn today’s best practices into tomorrow’s routines. He opened with the Chinese idiom about ‘throwing bricks to get jade’.

He described the study undertaken in 2007-08 to look a EHR training in academia, and at the opportunities and challenges; they surveyed physicians, nurses and pharmacists, and found a clinical/education gap with uneven recognition and acceptance of practices, lack of formal training in health informatics; accommodating health informatics in the curriculum s very difficult for all health professionals, due to crowded curricula; capacity is lacking in terms of faculty champions in many areas, and there is a reseach gap. Traditional curriculum approaches have been unhelpful (trying to squeeze new subjects into a crowded area), and curriculum evolution can be challenging; should health informatics be elective or required, and is it a separate discipline or not?

He raised questions around whether institutions see health informatics as the ‘burning platforms’ that are ‘must have’ developments, and how to involve curriculum decision-makers. Research and evaluation, and the attraction of research fund to the field, are often seen as strong drivers/attractors for many institutional leaders. UBC has created a new eHealth Strategy Office that Dr Ho chairs, and sees anecessary interaction between research, evaluation, and translation into routine practice.

In terms of education, he described the need for pre-med health informatics introductions, medical student EHR, residents to MD training in health informatics skills, community training based in patient-driven needs for information, and the need to develop an ehealth masters degree. Similarly, he sees the need to develop research in parallel to all of these areas, and then translating these into developments such as evidence-based policy and global eHealth developments. He sees these areas interacting and re-inforcing each other.

Dr Ho talked about some specific examples, such as PDA clinial practice guidelines, that have been in development for several years (www.clinipearls.ca); this aims to deliver 80% of the information needed by clinicians within 3 screen clicks and 15 seconds. Technology enabled academic detailing (http://www.mytead.ca/), deriving out of evidence-based prescribing, eprescribing and reporting is also being developed and researched, due to funding from several sources, including Nokia Foundation and canadian provincial government. His final example is ICT for muticultural public engagement (www.iconproject.org) in a Chinese Online Health Network.

He closed by raising a ‘wish list’ including research into the sociology of e-presence and moving from educational experimentation to standardisation, and the development of resources of expertise to aid other institutions in development of health informatic curricula.

IMIA Education WG – first papers October 27, 2008

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After a coffee break and social networking, we are on to the first set of papers. Christian Nohr, together with his co-author Marianne Sorensen, from Aalborg University, talked about ‘Career Paths for Masters in Health Informatics in Denmark’, and his course which aims to connect the clinical world with the informatics skills. 80% of the graduates stay within the health informatics fields, and few move outside the health arena, although 13% work in clinical areas but not focusing on health informatics. Half of the graduates change career paths aftet the course.

The course uses a problem-based learning approach. Some people from computer science (as opposed to health/medical/clinical areas) come onto the course

(Note: stevenbedrick on Twittter is posting there about the sessions)

Hans-Ulrich Prokosch, from Erlangen University in Germany, gave the next talk, on ‘Medical Process Management’, a new course that started its first cohort a few weeks ago. The university (which also has a campus in Nuremburg) was founded in 1743, and about one third of the population of the city is students at the university. Courses in medical informatics are taught in the medical and technical faculties at the university.

Jeanette Murphy presented a paper titled ‘Health informatics education for medical students – international Delphi study’ undertaken by one of her online students, Pupavally Ramasamy. The aim of the study was to look at learning outcomes for informatics curricula; the study drew on IMIA recommendations and other documents to develop the study questions. The study developed 48 learning outcomes, grouped into six themes; two groups of participants had to look at the learning outcomes and grade them according to their views of relevance to health informatics curricula. The study looked at differences in views of informatics experts (drawn mainly from IMIA) and medical educators (who were not informatics experts). The medical educators tended to rate higher the importance of outcomes relating to patient information. barriers to introducing health informatics included lack of health informatics knowledge and skills among the medical educators, and there were differences in views on how it should be taught and who should teach it between the two groups.

Yuri Kagalovsky, from Canada, presented on ‘ A systematic approach to using case studies in health informatics education’, based in programmes at Conestoga College Institute of Technology, near Toronto. The programme focuses on preparing business analysts for health informatics projects. He looked at how to develop case studies and a framework that had been developed for the course; one focus had been on looking at underlying issues from the health care system that lead to the issues within the special focus of the case study, and looking at transferable skills and knowledge that could help with other similar cases.

Q: should IMIA Education WG look at project around developing and sharing case study materials?

Evelyn Hovenga, from Australia (http://www.evelynhovenga.com/), talked about ‘Health informatics graduates: what competencies must they have?’ She gave an overview of work on competencies, and suggested that e-health knowldge and skills needs to be based in supporting person/population health. She talked about the framework that had been developed regarding health informatics as an occupation/profession and moving towards developing career paths in health/medical informatics. She talked about the need towards recognition of health informatics as an occupational standard.

Q: is this another activity IMIA Education WG should be undertaking some activity on?

The final paper of the morning is from Alvaro Margolis, from Uruguay, talked about ‘Health information systems training for a countrywide implementation in Uruguay’, the needs of people in different roles relating to implementation projects, and training needs of interdisciplinary units to ensure success in such projects. 10% of Uruguayan GDP is spent on healthcare.

The papers all generated good questions and discussion, and raised a number of possibilities for future activities under the auspices of IMIA and/or its Education WG.

IMIA Education WG – opening October 27, 2008

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The IMIA Education Working Group (WG)  conference (http://www.hospitalitaliano.org.ar/imiawged/)has started with the opening welcomes from Paula Otero (chair of the organisers), Bill Hersh, Chair of IMIA Education WG, and Fernan Gonzales Bernaldo de Quiros, from Hospital Italiano. The meeting is relatively small as far as IMIA events go, but has a large international contingent. I don’t know if anyone else is blogging, but Steven Bedrick is on Twitter.

The opening keynote is being given by Reinhold Haux, IMIA President. He is giving an overview of the history of IMIA, the Education WG, and the Peter Reichertz Institute. He explained that Peter reichertz was a pioneer of health/medical informatics in Germany, and the institute that Reinhold works at is named after him as an amalgamation of institutes in Braunschweig and Hannover in Germany, and aims to be a regional centre of excellence.

Reinhold explained the objectives of IMIA being around promoting informatics in healthcare, and stressed the importance of education and the stimulation of research. IMIA is over 40 years old, and began as 12 founding nations in 1967; it has 52 full members, and including corresponding members has contacts with 85 countries, as well as about 50 Academic members; these represent over 50,000 people. He explained that education was a high priority from the beginnings of IMIA, and education was its first working group.

Reinhold explained that past activities of the IMIA Education WG are reflected in the proceedings of the various conferences that had been held, and well as wider education publications.This event is about the ninth event since 1970. One of the major outputs of the WG has been the Recommendations on Education in Health and Medical Informatics, which have been translated into many languages. He explained that education in health informatics is important to raise the quality and efficiency of health care, and well-educated health professionals are needed all around thw world.

He suggested that for the future, IMIA neded to look into certification, look at education in a globalised context, to learn and share knowledge, and to promote high quality education through IMIA, and especially through the Education WG.