179043 Developing undergraduate public health informatics competencies through asthma care content

Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:50 PM

Madeleine J. Kerr, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Karen A. Monsen, PhD RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Erica L. Fishman, MSW MPH , Asthma Program, Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, MN
Purpose: To develop undergraduate student public health informatics competencies.

Background: Educators are challenged by the Institute of Medicine Health Professions Education report to provide learning experiences integrating informatics. Efforts such as Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) are addressing the challenge, however, information on teaching content, methods and evaluation are lacking. This presentation describes an educational pilot integrating state public health asthma initiatives into undergraduate informatics course content.

Method: An undergraduate web-based course, Health Informatics: Clinical and Public Health, was adapted by two nursing faculty and a state health department asthma coordinator. The coauthors designed and completed a matrix mapping informatics topics to asthma exemplars. The course is being implemented and evaluated with a pilot group of undergraduate students (n=13). Process evaluation using “muddiest point” narratives and mid-term evaluation and outcome evaluation using pre-post confidence logs and review of student assignments will inform future course improvements.

Results: Course informatics content was readily matched to extant population-based asthma initiatives and resources. Internet resources such as national asthma management practice guidelines and interactive education modules (Coaches Asthma Clipboard) were linked to topics on research, evidence based practice, and information quality/ credibility. Standardized language documentation (Omaha System) and pathways were linked to data standards, interoperability, and software applications. Electronic asthma action plans and air quality index emergency communications were linked to Public Health Information Systems and communication and management of information.

Discussion: Using asthma informatics resources effectively operationalized theoretical learning within a meaningful public health problem context. An academic-practice collaboration can be invaluable to the teaching-learning experience in the rapidly emerging field of informatics. Mapping core informatics content to exemplars in state and local public health enhances student engagement in informatics content. Together faculty and public health leaders can prepare students for their future roles in informatics supported public health systems.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the process of mapping core informatics topics to asthma exemplars. 2. Recognize at least two informatics themes in population-based asthma initiatives. 3. Describe process and outcome evaluation for a new student learning experience in public health informatics.

Keywords: Public Health Informatics, Asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary faculty for the public health informatics course
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.