Stakeholders in the academic and health sectors are mulling a standard curriculum to guide training of health records and information management professionals in the country. Besides harmonizing content and scope of training, the proposed curriculum also aims at mainstreaming emerging trends in health records management such as health informatics, data visualization, data analytics and interoperability of health information systems.
If implemented, the initiative spearheaded by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology under the auspices of the Health Informatics Governance and Data Analytics (HIGDA) would enable universities and medical training colleges to produce qualified and globally competitive graduates in health records management.
HIGDA Programme Coordinator, Dr. Reuben Thuo said that introduction of emerging areas in the curriculum would facilitate provision of real time health information; which is key in decision making and resource allocation.
Despite the curriculum standardization requirements by the Ministry of Education, through the Commission for University Education, as well as other regulatory and professional bodies, universities are producing health record information managers under different curricula.
Mercy Kahare from the Association of Medical Records Officers of Kenya (AMROCK) said a national curriculum would also foster professionalism in the field. Institutions keen on mounting health records management course would also have an accredited basis, she added.
HIGDA is a USAID funded project that aims to improve the national and county level health sectors’ organizational and management capacity in health informatics, monitoring and evaluation.
HIGDA Capacity Development Manager, Prof. Simon Karanja said that besides enhancing data demand and information use, the mooted curriculum would also embrace a shift from descriptive to referential analysis in data management.
Under the project, JKUAT is establishing a Digital Health Applied Research Centre (DHARC), a regional reference laboratory, primed to help Kenya operationalize national Health Information Systems (HIS) blueprint.
Besides providing an environment where health information systems can be tested and certified, DHARC will also support the wide-scale implementation of interoperable solutions based on government policies and protocols.
The five-year HIGDA project is jointly implemented by Palladium Group, JKUAT, and PATH International and runs through 2021.
The stakeholders spoke during a workshop convened by JKUAT to review the University’s BSc. Health Informatics curriculum. The two-day workshop that got underway on Monday February 19, 2018 brought together participants from training institutions, regulatory and professional bodies.