Learning Digital Health in School and on the Job
This week, June 3 at 1pm ET (19:00 CET), Michaela Endemann (@MichiEndemann) will host #hcsmca. Michaela is a biologist who specializes in strategic healthcare communications. She frequently writes about social media, ehealth and digital technologies in healthcare on her blog @medtermine – works as freelance author for ehealth topics)
By Michaela Endemann (@MichiEndemann)
ICT (information and communications technology – or technologies) – an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning. Definition source
ICT solutions are ubiquitous in health care. Healthcare providers and administrators are constantly learning and adopting new processes like digital documentation and reporting or care delivery and communication methods such as telemonitoring. It’s not new that working in health care requires continuing education and transition. However, I’ve observed a gap between the demands of work and performance and the education to support the adoption of ICT on the job.
Recently I wrote an article about this situation in Austria – Die Technik lernen (in German only). In the article I quote several students and teachers who attended CAREcamp 2015, an unconference for health care providers, teachers and students in Salzburg, Austria. I asked attendees about their attitudes towards and education experiences with ICT and social media in health care. The responses (translated) were quite varied.
- “Having a basic knowledge in social media is like needing basic math in grammar school – simply necessary.”
- “At the moment, I do not see that IT is helpful.”
- “I can learn technical expertise, but unfortunately it is often forgotten that caring for people also requires stable personalities; that is lacking in the medical training as well.”
- “IT was and is in education of nurses still not an issue, but I have to use it in my daily life, so I had to teach myself.”
- “It lacks the technical expertise of teachers to this topic.”
- “Six years ago during my education, ICT was not offered, but even then I needed to know about ICTs. So everything I needed to know I’ve had to teach myself.”
- “Expertise is lacking amongst the faculty. For example the teacher who was to teach us about social media read from notes and herself had never used even Facebook.”
Except for a few noteworthy examples, meaningful integration of ICT content in the education and training of nurses and other health care providers still seems to be lacking. On Wednesday, June 3 at 1pm ET (time zone converter), I would like to discuss with #hcsmca your experiences and observations using these questions to guide the chat.
- T1: Increasing digital technology & media are integrated into health care. Are healthcare professionals confident using them?
- T2a: As a health provider did you get specific education in usage of digital technologies, in school or on the job?
- T2b: As a patient, do you have confidence in the use of digital technologies in health and health education?
- T3: Share examples of digital healthcare education.