We've just put up a student profile on the NIHI (National Institute for Health Innovation) blog:
Sandra Oldfield, a recent graduate of the University of Auckland’s postgraduate programme in health informatics, talks about her student experience.
She makes the point that clinicians are focused on providing clinical care to individuals within settings that support their work. Health informatics provides a fuller view of healthcare than clinical and this has been demonstrated by her postgraduate study.
Clinicians such as doctors and nurses (like her) mostly care about how the computer and the data it holds can help them provide good clinical care for their patients. “The business courses offered in the postgraduate programme helped me to see why certain decisions are made by DHBs and managers in different departments of a hospital,” says Sandra. They opened up a much wider context for her helping her to see a more comprehensive role for health information management.
The HL7 and Principles of Health Informatics courses gave her a useful foundation for the work she’s currently doing at Orion Healthcare as Document Manager and clinical consultant. Extending her basic IT knowledge to a more detailed and informed understanding of systems development and decision support systems has been invaluable. Sandra says, “It may be coincidence but a lot of what I was learning while doing a particular paper, I saw in the work I was doing at the time.”
Having the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Informatics has broadened the scope of what she can do and the options she has for future career decisions. While working with people who haven’t done postgraduate study in health informatics she’s seen how her learning has added value to what she can do for her customers.
The programme itself was interesting, informative, and at times challenging but worth it. “I still think about how I can continue to extend myself, what else can I learn and how can it make me better at what I do” she says. Sandra hasn’t made a decision yet to continue with her studies and enrol in the Masters of Health Science in Health Informatics, but she says that when the time is right she’ll be back.
For more information about the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Health Informatics) take a look at http://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/faculty/postgrad/programmes/pgdiphsc-healthinfo.aspx