Sosiaali- ja terveydenhuollon tiedonhallinnan tutkimuskohteet Itä-Suomen yliopistossa – paradigman todentuminen tietohallinnon maisteri- ja tohtorikoulutuksessa
The recommendations of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) on education in biomedical and health informatics have been used as the basis for the master’s in health and human services informatics program at the University of Eastern Finland. Accredited in 2012 and 2018 by IMIA, the program responds to current challenges by focusing on informatics knowledge and skills among citizens and professionals, along with knowledge management and research and development of information management and systems as described in Finnish eHealth strategies. The purpose of this paper was to describe research focused on defining the health and human services informatics paradigm adopted in health and human services informatics programs. The aim was to describe the distribution in the research areas covered in master’s and doctoral theses and to use that information in the development of courses and theses guidance. The research data consisted of master’s theses (N=158) from the years 2002–2018 and doctoral theses (N=14) from the years 2011–2018. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics to show distribution with frequenses and percentages. The master’s theses focused mostly on the steering and organizing of information management in work processes (n=55) such as modelling or assessing processes and the use of information and communication technology (n=48) such as assessing information systems’ implementations or digital services. The doctoral theses focused mostly on the steering and organizing of information management in work processes (n=5) and data models and structures (n=5) such as describing data elements or terminology usage. By percentages, both master’s and doctoral theses highlighted research on steering and organizing of information management in work processes (36% and 35%, respectively) and knowledge management and informatics competencies (21% and 22%, respectively). The study findings are connected to the visions of national eHealth and eSocial strategies to support citizens’ well-being and service renewal. In the future, both master’s and doctoral theses should also be directed to knowledge management and informatics competencies among citizens and professionals.
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