Survey of health informatics education in Finland in 2017
The European Union and the USA collaborate in developing the skills of the application of information technology in the health care workforce. A part of this activity is a project which studies the gaps in the present education and proposes methods of filling these gaps. The objective of this paper is to identify the existing IT related education to the health care work force in Finland. A secondary objective was to get an impression of the experience and attitudes of the members of this workforce about health IT education.
This paper presents the results of the survey of how information technology is educated to the students of the health care professions in Finland in the year 2017. In addition to literature search including also the study guides of many major health care professional education organizations, 24 telephone interviews of health care professionals in different fields in Finland were made.
The results show that although basic information technology education is often available at every level of education, it is expected that the health care professionals learn to use the health information systems during their training periods or later in working life. The interviews showed that the given education varied considerably and some of the personnel had received no or only a little education on IT during studies. As the amount and quality of on-the-job information technology education varies, many health care professionals are not able to fully benefit from the information systems if their general feeling is that they just “survive” from daily activities with them.
The results lead to suggest that the health professional degrees should contain at least a minimal amount of relevant health IT education which is tested with an exam and that the present health care workforce should receive ear-marked in-service training in the use of health information technology based on the needs of the individual.