Dr Kwang Meng Cham1, Dr Arno Parolini1, Professor Kathleen Gray1, Mr Karl Lawlor1
1The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
Introduction/background: Interdisciplinary engagement with digital health data such as electronic health records (EHR) makes competency in health information technology (HIT) systems an essential attribute for the workforce.
Currently, nursing students in the entry-to-practice program in Australia get minimal exposure to HIT content in the curriculum with brief discussion of theoretical concepts. A practical component in the simulated environment is lacking as is an opportunity to participate in interprofessional education within digital environments.
Aim/objectives: This study describes an intervention to integrate informatics competencies into the curriculum whilst facilitating interprofessional practice and education during university training.
Methods: The project mapped HIT competencies to integrated professional practice of nursing, physiotherapy, optometry, speech pathology, audiology and social work. Theoretical, simulated and real-life components were integrated as part of each student’s clinical practice that utilizes the framework of person-centred care.
Results and Discussion: Outcomes include producing graduates competent in EHR in interprofessional settings, and the ability to adapt and cope with the demands of the rapidly evolving HIT-driven healthcare. This interprofessional curriculum with an emphasis on HIT will produce healthcare professionals with best practice and navigation of digital health data.
Conclusions: Using simulated EHR will allow graduates to acquire essential informatics competencies that are embedded in good clinical practice within safe interprofessional settings. This will enhance clinical decision-making, patient safety and the quality of health care outcomes.
Dr. Cham is an optometrist and a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. His educational scholarship interests include using digital technologies for feedback and assessment, interprofessional education and interdisciplinary object-based learning engaging with material culture.
Dr. Cham has received numerous educational research grants and has presented at national and international conferences on the scholarship of teaching and learning. He is currently a fellow of the Melbourne Academy and a member of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators.