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IMIA Education WG – Tuesday morning October 28, 2008

Posted by peterjmurray in education, health informatics, IMIA.
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The wireless networks are much more flakey this morning, so I will upload this post hoc from notes. The first session this morning was looking at ‘Designing an international survey on curricular needs’, lead by Harold Lehman from Johns Hopkin in Baltimore. Harold, Bill Hersh from Oregon and Julio Facelli from Utah gave some opening remarks setting the context for the workshop. Bill mentioned the need for learning more about our students’ education needs, and Julio talked about the need for a quantitative framework for assessment of effectiveness and needs in biomedical informatics.

Harold talked about a similar survey he had done in public health informatics; this had several axes, ie the essential services, the informatics competencies, and the skill levels (referring to practitioners, as opposed to informaticians).

We had a workshop discussion of a range of issues in what kind of survey to develop, and who to survey; opinion seemed evenly split on whether it was more important to survey informaticians or clinical professionals who are not informaticians. Several people gave their experiences of doing previous surveys and of what work existed on which the development of the survey might draw. An example was given of contrasting online and paper-based surveys, with the former being returned more by informaticians and the latter returned more by clinicians. Consensus after discussion was that, for the first iteration, we should focus on surveying health informatics alumni, and that members of the IMIA Education WG might form a pilot group for the survey. Work on this will be developed further following the meeting.

For the second part of the morning, Don Detmer and Alvaro Margolis presented a report on ‘Making the ehealth connection: health informatics and ehealth capacity building’, based in a report on the Bellagio eHealth meetings organised earlier in 2008 by the Rockefeller Foundation.  A session was organised by AMIA and IMIA as part of the Bellagio meetings on ehealth capacity building, and in particular through looking at the global ‘south’ components of needs and 20/20 vision for assuring ehealth capacity. Don talked about the need for surveying national readiness for developing informatics skills and knowledge, and for assessment instruments and other tool kits. He cited the idea of 20/20 ‘bits and bytes’  knowledge and skills offerings, as well as the need for executive seminars, training and advocacy to develop informatics awareness among leaders.

Alvaro summarised the goals of the Bellagio week, including defining 2-5 year actions that IMIA, AMIA and other stakeholders could undertake, the need for a network of people to support the work, and for identifying the informatics needs of developing countries. A useful and dynamic discussion explored a lot of ideas, and the attendees seemed generally enthusiastic for involvement in aspects of the proposals being explored.