An ACCESS guide for ICT training on information and research tools in low resource settings

Margaret Salmon, Christian Salmon, Nerys Benfield, K. Joe Lusi, David N. Masumba, Richard Bitwe, Maurice Masoda, Theodore Ruel, Michael Vanrooyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Use of computer-based information and communication technologies in health sectors (e-Health) improves public health and patient care partly by providing practitioners rapid access to information and research applications. The benefits of these technologies, however, are in general restricted to developed nations, while access to similar resources in developing-nations has lagged. We developed a hospital-based model for physicians by physicians in order to rapidly establishing e-Health practice at a hospital in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). DRC was thought appropriate at it's a resource poor region, includes staff with limited history of e-Heath and Internet access was recently introduced. Lessons learned from this project would ideally be transferable to similar settings. This project had three parts 1) assessment of baseline e-Health knowledge, 2) program of study 3) prospective follow-up survey of participants to assess impacts and identify enabling components and barriers. Program of Study 2008: Training modules were developed on A) online medical resources, B) interpretation/use of research methods, C) development/use of computer-based databases for data collection and analysis. Laptops and relevant software were issued. Follow-up Survey 2010: 16 participants and 5 administrators. Results showed increased online medical resource use research initiatives and outputs. Participants gave highest ratings to e-Health training, access to computers and research tools. Response themes highlighted improved academic performance and physician global empowerment. Enabling components included training at hospital level, provision of laptops, open-source resources, mentoring, Epi-Info for research design and data. Constraints were subscription fees, poor Internet connectivity, laptop longevity, lack of appropriate firewalls. Data must be interpreted with caution because participant number was small and data collected at different times. A more rigorous study using randomized format is ideal but difficulties controlling exchange of information limit study design. e-Health/ICT training by physicians can increase use of appropriate online medical resources and stimulate local research initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • E-health
  • Education
  • ICT
  • Low resource settings
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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