Preparing e-health ready graduates: A qualitative focus group study

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Journal Article
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 2017, 239 pp. 91 - 96
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© 2017 The authors and IOS Press. Background: Well documented demand for an e-health ready workforce is placing increasing pressure on universities to deliver essential e-health education. Aim: We aimed to explore stakeholders' perceptions of e-health knowledge and skills anticipated of workforce-ready tertiary graduates from clinical health degree programs. Method: A qualitative research study of a purposively selected sample of 23 key informants with expertise and/or experience in e-health education, practice and/or policy was conducted. Data collection involved focus group interviews that were recorded, transcribed verbatim and underwent thematic analysis. Findings: Three primary themes about e-health education and preparation of health graduates emerged from the analyses: 1) Reinforce fundamental competencies, 2) Acknowledge and adapt existing competencies, and 3) Introduce and provide opportunities for new learning. Conclusions and Implications: This study will inform the articulation of a consensus driven set of core competencies for a cross-faculty e-health curriculum that aligns with workforce expectations. There is also potential for vertical integration of findings into workforce development programs.
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