Introduction: Studies on methods of teaching informatics for graduate nursing programs are limited. This paper discusses the design and evaluation of an IT-related Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Project, one of the main assignments in an informatics course offered jointly for three graduate nursing programs. Challenges and lessons learned are also presented.
Methods: Informatics and Patient Care Technology is a 3-credit, 16-week, hybrid, core graduate course that addresses advanced leadership roles in the clinical setting related to information systems. The course was developed based on IT Essentials of professional organizations. From spring 2013 to fall 2015, a total of 117 graduate nursing students were enrolled. IT-related BPR is a 7-week assignment designed using Adesola and Baines’s (2006) BPR Implementation Framework to equip students with informatics skills necessary to lead IT improvement projects. Students evaluated the course in a reflective journal by answering 11 essay questions and via the IDEA system (Individual Development and Educational Assessment). Content analysis of narrative data was performed to categorize themes and trends concerning the IT-related BPR project.
Result: Almost all students (115/117) indicated that the IT-related BPR assignment was very valuable and provided overwhelmingly positive feedback about the technical and professional skills learned. Knowledge transfer and understanding the complexity of healthcare organizations were the main subcategories under professional skills. Main challenges were related to variability in computer skills to complete the technical aspects of the assignment.
Conclusion: Designing a student-centered assignment based on a systemic thinking approach and Programs’ Essentials and empowering students as process owners with IT and leadership skills and tools are successful strategies for technical and professional development in informatics. Course modification is a continuous improvement process guided by new trends in heath and science, as well as students’ needs, feedback and success in completing the learning activities.
Published on: Dec 16, 2015 Pages: 16-24
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