Implementation and evaluation of a medical informatics distance education program

W. R. Hersh, K. Junium, M. Mailhot, P. Tidmarsh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: Given the need for continuing education in medical informatics for midcareer professionals, the authors aimed to implement and evaluate distance learning courses in this area. Design: The authors performed a needs assessment, content and technology planning, implementation, and student evaluation. Measurements: The needs assessment and student evaluations were assessed using a combination of Likert scale and free-form questions. Results: The needs assessment indicated much interest in a medical informatics distance learning program, with electronic medical records and outcome research the subject areas of most interest. The courses were implemented by means of streaming audio plus slides for lectures and threaded discussion boards for student interaction. Students were assessed by multiple-choice tests, a term paper, and a take-home final examination. In their course evaluations, student expressed strong satisfaction with the teaching modalities, course content, and system performance. Although not assessed experimentally, the performance of distance learning students was superior to that of on-campus students. Conclusion: Medical informatics education can be successfully implemented by means of distance learning technologies, with favorable student satisfaction and demonstrated learning. A graduate certificate program is now being implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-584
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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