E-health teaching in medicine received a nationwide recommendation

The recommendation will serve as a guide for teaching in electronic health services (e-health) in medical and dentistry training.

The recommendation, which was prepared in the MEDigi project coordinated by the University of Oulu, presents a total of twelve e-health topics to be included in basic medical education. These include patient information systems, meeting a patient in a digital environment and matters related to information security.

“The aim is to integrate teaching in electronic health services as a permanent part of medical training and to harmonise the content of the teaching nationwide. This is to ensure that graduating doctors have sufficient e-health skills when transitioning to working life,” says Timo Tuovinen from the University of Oulu, Chairperson of the workgroup that prepared the recommendation.

Electronic health services have become a routine part of health care. Examples of the digitalisation of health services include remote appointments, electronic prescriptions, online therapy and various applications that promote well-being. Both patients and the professionals providing care for them benefit from the services.

“With training, we can increase the skills of future doctors and dentists and also involve them more strongly in the development and implementation of patient information systems, for example,” says Jarmo Reponen, Professor of Practice in Health Information Systems at the University of Oulu and leader of the MEDigi project.

Teaching content was piloted at the University of Oulu last spring during the e-health theme day for fifth-year students of medicine, and the pilot received encouraging feedback. The students felt that the themes were well suited for medical training.

The expert group that prepared the recommendation included representatives from every medical faculty in Finland. Next, the aim of the working group is to define the national competence targets for teaching in e-health and to develop evaluation methods for measuring competence.

The objective of the MEDigi project is to harmonise and modernise education in medical fields by utilising digitalisation in medical and dentistry teaching. The national recommendation prepared by the project was published in the latest Duodecim magazine.

Source: Timo Tuovinen, Jarmo Reponen, Veli-Matti Isoviita, Tuomas Koskela, Anna Levy, Jarmo Pääkkönen, Niklas Ravaja, Teijo Saari, Mikko Taina, Paula Veikkolainen, Alpo Värri and Petri Kulmala. Sähköisten terveyspalveluiden opetus lääketieteessä. Finnish Medical Journal Duodecim, 2021;137(17):1807-13. (PDF)