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IMIA Education WG – first papers October 27, 2008

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