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Teaching health informatics #HI201 (again)!


This is only the third semester that I will be teaching HI 201 for the MS Health Informatics program in the UP College of Medicine. I’ve added new topics such as global health, enterprise architecture and gamification. The old topic list is here. I haven’t changed my teaching strategy though – check out my 2012 lesson plan on I have abandoned edublogs though and asked my students to host their blogs wherever they wanted this year. I had proposed then that the course will use project-based learning, which Wikipedia defines as,

“use of in-depth and rigorous classroom projects to facilitate learning and assess student competence (not to be confused with problem-based learning).”

Each week starts off with a driving question which gets answered by an assignment or “project.” According to

A Driving Question is one that focuses all other questions towards a solution or product. This question is complex, requires multiple activities and the synthesis of information from numerous sources. Driving Questions serve to organize and drive activities; and these activities result in a series of artifacts, or products, that culminate in a final product that addresses the original question.

In this class, students blog about their assignments as a form of learning portfolio. A few already had blogs but there were also those who were forced 🙂 to blog for the first time. Blog posts are to be announced at the Philippine Medical Informatics Society Facebook page (tagged #HI201) and on Twitter (#MSHI) so the students can engage in meaningful discussion with others about their work. To gently start my students on blogging, I asked them to post what they wanted to learn from this class. Here’s what some of them said –

I think HI 201 will be the gateway of the direction of information I will learn and can learn. It will give me an overview of exactly where informatics play a role in the health care system and delivery. In the process, I think I will learn to appreciate data more, make sense of data more, program electronic medical records to be useful, create a website, a blog site, and education site, among others. In the end, it will be fun to learn something new again.

Having little to no understanding of the Healthcare IT industry, I would like to grasp some insights of the current status of Healthcare IT in the Philippines and how far advanced has it become compared to other countries, and I think HI201 (Health Informatics) would be an introductory course that would fill in my queries.

Here are my main learning objectives for HI 201, to be able to do the following: 1. discuss health informatics in general and in the Philippine context, 2. analyze the significance as well as barriers and limitations of health informatics in various domains and disciplines, particularly in the Philippines, and 3. practice the application of health informatics concepts and principles.

As an administrator of a small private secondary level hospital, I see HS 201 as my entry point to learn the fundamentals of Health Informatics. Eventually, I would like to learn to set up a hospital information system which fulfills our needs.

As a novice in the field of Medical Informatics, I’d like to learn more about how data through context can be turned to information. How information with semantics can become knowledge and perhaps serve as a world model though ontology.

As a novice of the program, I am deeply interested in learning the needed IT tools that may aid healthcare professionals identify and manage predicaments hindering efficiency of healthcare delivery. As a community oriented worker, I would also like to learn how to further strengthen the foundations of the national healthcare system (primary healthcare workers) by alleviating or at least decreasing their hurdles by means of ICT solutions.In line with this, I would also like to learn how to increase their capacity for technology adoption, one of the main reasons of sustainability failures.


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