The Role of Medical Informatics in Primary Care Education

PJ McCullagh, IR Young, WG Kernohan

Abstract


This paper investigates the ability of a group of Primary Care professionals to acquire appropriate document retrieval skills, so that they can apply evidence based health care techniques to their various Primary Care roles. The participants, most of whom had little prior experience of the Internet, were enrolled on a two-year part-time Postgraduate Diploma / MSc in Primary Care. As part of the course, they took a compulsory 12-week module in Medical Informatics. A specific task was set: to find appropriate information on Meningococcal Meningitis and Public Health, by using National Library of Medicine's PUBMED bibliographic retrieval system and other unspecified Internet sources. A supplementary piece of coursework required the group to become information providers by providing tutorials on the world wide web. Analysis of the reports showed that the participants were able to learn and use the information tools successfully and that appropriate skills can be transferred in a short time. Overall nine were positive as to the benefits of the evidence-based approach contributing to local health care, with nine expressing mixed views and two having more negative opinions.

Keywords


Education; Primary Care; Internet Resources; Evidence based Care

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/jhi.v9i1.227

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