Synopsis: Performance, Instruction, and Technology in Health Care Education

Note: Now that I’m in graduate school again, I do a lot less blogging due to all my homework. Therefore, I decided to share my homework on instructional design.  Plus, I thought it’d be a great way to review for comprehensive exams.

Cartoon image of health care professionals in a maze.
Source: John Hersey of Inc Magazine

Locatis, C., (2012). Performance, instruction, and technology in health care education. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 178-186). Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall.

Performance in the health care field  is critical. It differs from other fields that allow for marginal errors and second chances. Therefore, learning health science education is paramount in life or death matters for those whose lives are touched by health care professionals. Locatis described historical and current trends in health care instruction and use of emergent technologies as they affect performance.  The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and researchers have been influential in changing teaching methodologies from laboratory and hospital-based to that of problem-based learning (PBL) and evidence-based medicine (EBM). Moreover, the AAMC called for the inclusion of informatics in medical curriculum.  Informatics refers to the use of information management systems such as databases, expert systems, educational simulations, robotics (programmed mannequins), and virtual reality environments.

Locatis described the history of medical education in three phases: prescientific, scientific, and post-Flexner.  The prescientific phase for the U.S. refers to the time prior to the 20th century.  The author stated that the anatomically structured drawings by Andreas Vesalius and Leonardo da Vinci are considered the beginnings of educational technology since they are based on direct observations and not speculation. A report written by Abraham Flexner published in 1910 by the Carnegie Foundation moved the field of medical teaching into the scientific phase.  For instance, Flexner called for a more formal education of medical practitioners to include an academic setting and affiliations with local hospitals. This provided academic rigor to the study of medicine, whereas before the graduates from commercial programs and independent schools were only accountable for memorization of symptoms and remedies.

In my opinion, the health care system is at a critical juncture with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), which will provide more citizens with health care than ever before.  A secondary goal of this act is to streamline the delivery of said health care.  The use of educational and informational applications (informatics) is necessary to address this influx of customers and streamlining of information properly.  First, it should inform the health care provider of the latest findings for a symptom or illness. Secondly, it should inform the patient of his rights to the side effects or alternatives to prescribed procedures and medicines. Thirdly, it should aid the health care providers with a smart system for collecting the appropriate information on their patients/customers. I appreciated how Locatis illustrated the rationale for instructional technology by describing the sensory nature of raw data. For example, the use of multimedia in health care systems can help students and practitioners learn about the data collected by including the sounds, images, and real time events.

Author: teacherrogers

Content developer, instructional designer, trainer, and researcher

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