The first cohort of Continuing Education’s health informatics offering has successfully wrapped up, marking a significant achievement for the learners and course collaborators in the faculties of nursing and science and at TransForm Shared Service Organization, which is responsible for the implementation of a state-of-the-art hospital information system in Windsor-Essex and Chatham hospitals.
Lyn Baluyot, vice president, chief transformation officer, says the program is uniquely relevant to the region.
“The provincial government has recognized this growing field as a required skill set to advance the health-care system to meet the increasing demand to integrate technology and clinical workflows to provide the best care to the patient and enable those caring for patients,” she says. “It is important that these skills be developed and be developed locally, as Erie St. Clair region will need to have the right individuals to support the evolving needs of the health system.”
Course graduate Gagan Bisla already holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health information management and is planning on taking the Canadian Health Information Management Certification exam to become certified as a health informaticist.
She says that she took the UWindsor course to home in on the local sector, particularly the information technology aspect.
“I wanted more insight about health-care IT as health care is changing drastically here in Ontario and Canada,” says Bisla, citing learning about the role of Artificial Intelligence and data management as a key takeaway from the program.
The regional focus of the course is reflected throughout its curriculum, which also includes elements of project management and group work based on local issues currently faced in our systems.
“The group project allows us to apply our learning from each module into a project, and help come up with a solution for the issues that are currently being dealt with regarding the implementation of the Health Information System across the Erie St. Clair Hospitals,” Bisla says.
This applied learning was an important component for the course developers and instructors, drawn from TransForm SSO staff and the UWindsor faculties of nursing and science.
“Health informatics is a vital aspect of health care administration and delivery, however our students are exposed only to an introductory level throughout their undergraduate experience,” says Linda Patrick, dean of the Faculty of Nursing. “This course is an excellent opportunity for those interested in digging deeper and wanting to explore a career in this area.”
Baluyot agrees and is hopeful that its graduates will consider employment at TransForm SSO.
“We are interested in creating a pipeline of qualified applicants for anticipated employment opportunities within the health system in our region,” she says.
Continuing Education will run the course again in January 2021. Prospective students are encouraged to learn more about the program at continue.uwindsor.ca.