Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Competencies in Clinical Informatics for Medical Education

I wrote last year about efforts at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to introduce content on clinical informatics as part of its revision of its medical school curriculum. Physician competence in clinical informatics is important for a number of reasons, such as the continuously expanding knowledge base of medicine, the need for care provided to be more accountable, and the desire of patients to interact electronically with the healthcare system the way they interact with other industries (such as retailers and banks). An additional reason for such competence for some physicians is the career opportunity provided by the designation of clinical informatics as a new medical subspecialty.

In order to integrate more clinical informatics into OHSU's curriculum, we established a working group of informatics faculty leaders to develop a set of competencies in clinical informatics. We aimed to go beyond the usual searching and basic EHR skills that increasing numbers of medical schools provide. We also wanted to focus less on mastery of the technology and more on the tasks for which it is used.

From the broad competencies, we also developed specific learning objectives and milestones, an implementation schedule, and mapping to general competency domains. After producing this material, we believed there would be value in publishing our work in a peer-reviewed journal. By doing so, we hoped that this work, and the resulting curricula, will be evaluated by ourselves and our colleagues. To this end, our published paper has just appeared (1). We chose to publish in an open-access journal so everyone can access the paper, and the publisher even provides a video abstract describing the work.

Our next steps involve implementing this new portion of our medical school curriculum. We also hope to evaluate our effort as well as learn from others who are adopt, modify, and/or evaluate our approach.

I might add that there is nothing about this work is highly specific to medical students. In other words, the competencies we have developed likely apply to all health professions students, i.e., nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, etc.. For that matter, they also should apply to non-clinical students, e.g., health administration, public health, and so forth.


1. Hersh WR, Gorman PN, Biagioli FE, Mohan V, Gold JA, Mejicano GC. Beyond information retrieval and electronic health record use: competencies in clinical informatics for medical education. Advances in Medical Education and Practice. 2014, 5: 205-212.

No comments:

Post a Comment