Educating the health informatics professional: the impact of an academic program
Introduction: The successful implementation and utilisation of electronic health information systems is dependent on a highly knowledgeable and skilled workforce. In Australia there is a range of education and training opportunities that seeks to meet these workforce needs. This range of programs reflects both the multi-disciplinary characteristic of health informatics and its wide application within the healthcare environment. We need to discuss the role of each program or type of program in developing a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, and in expanding the knowledge base of the discipline. This paper contributes to such a discussion by describing a pilot study that focused specifically on the role/impact of the University of Tasmania academic health informatics program.
Methods: The study comprised an anonymous on-line survey followed by a small number of interviews. The online survey included closed questions which gathered quantitative data about Quantitative data were analysed using appropriate numerical methods such as response counts and/or percentages. Open-ended questions were analysed using thematic analysis.
Results: Qualitative data indicated that course graduates reside in every state and territory, with the majority being employed by the various state health services. The majority of respondents had moved into health informatics professions or into senior positions in health informatics. Eighty percent attributed this directly to their participation in the course. Respondents indicated a strong socio-technical orientation in their approach to health informatics.
Discussion: The program appears to be having an impact on the health informatics workforce, particularly in promoting a strong socio-technical focus.
Conclusion: Evaluation of health informatics programs would enable the development of a comprehensive and complementary network of offerings that would meet the diverse needs for health informatics professionals in the healthcare and academic environment.
Publication titleStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Department/SchoolSchool of Health Sciences
Place of publicationNetherlands
Rights statementCopyright 2015 The authors and IOS Press. This article is published online with Open Access by IOS Press and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.