A Personal Review of;
Mantas, J (Ed) 1997 Health Telematics Education
IOS Press ISBN: 0926-9630
CTI Ref: B029
by Rod Ward - 10/09/97

This book is a collection of papers from a wide range of authors presented to a variety of conferences;

The papers reflect many of the similarities and differences in the Informatics education for nurses and other health professionals across Europe, and set out the objectives and working methods of several projects underway at present.

This is a rapidly changing field and the speed of production has meant that the vast majority of the material is still current and relevant. For many of the authors English is not their first language and something is missing in the proof reading/spellchecking stage of production. There also a range of technical terms and a myriad of acronyms which are not always explained and may be difficult for a reader not closely familiar with the work being discussed, therefore this is a book at aimed at a fairly specialist audience.

The recent activities in this area, in many countries, are described, and surveys reported looking at levels of equipment, access and content of courses at various levels. This provides a good starting point for the Nightingale project which aims to "provide consensus curriculum development in Nursing Informatics….. and develop courseware". Some of the information in the book is available from the project web site (http://www.dn.uoa.gr/nightingale) which is being used as a dissemination tool. Also included is the project description for the IT EDUCTRA European project, and a range of other initiatives.

Some of the issues of disseminating training materials to countries in which they were not developed, and using a variety of new media are discussed, including the Web and teleconferencing facilities, and assessment issues considered. There are a mix of theoretical and practical perspectives discussed and examples presented from nursing and other health care education sectors. Courseware development issues examine both educational and technological perspectives. Some of the difficulties in gaining recognition/validation/accreditation of European wide courses are also highlighted.

The increasing importance of information and communications technologies in health care delivery in many countries and across acute and primary care settings, from the nursing process to the multidisciplinary Electronic Patient Record are highlighted, with suggestions for the consequent changes in the education of health care professionals. Communication and confidentiality issues are briefly considered.

Some papers have useful and suitable lists of references, others have none. A list of useful contacts is included at the back of the book. An author index is included, but no attempt has been made to produce a subject index.

Throughout the book are wealth of evolving issues, and examples of how they have been addressed in some settings, however they are not always easy to access or translate across geographical, political and cultural barriers. The book is useful in highlighting the issues and in contributing to the debate, however we will have to see how many of the questions raised are answered over the next few years.

I can be contacted Rod@RodSpace.co.uk

Page Created: 11.9.96

Last Updated: 30.8.03