Information technology  

Computer training course for UK healthcare staff

3 April 2007.

Harrogate, UK. The British Computer Society launched its new European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) Health Unit at Healthcare Computing 2007 in Harrogate in March. It is the first computer skills syllabus in the world specifically for users of healthcare systems.

The new ECDL Health Unit is the result of seven years collaborative work between the BCS and NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CfH) to develop a computer skills syllabus specifically for users of healthcare information systems, providing them with the confidence and competence to use IT effectively when caring for patients.

The unit, which has been trialled by 100 NHS staff across five NHS Trusts, covers the broad issues, challenges and benefits of using electronic patient information systems. It has been designed for all staff working with healthcare systems including clinical staff and administrative workers. Candidates do not need advanced computer knowledge to take the qualification, they simply need to be able to use a computer keyboard and mouse.

Carol Hulm, BCS Special Projects Manager said: “The new unit has been developed in direct response to demands for a syllabus which is specific to the health sector and complementing the existing topic areas covered by the ECDL. It provides candidates with an understanding of the key principles and policies relating to Healthcare Information Systems and the practical skills needed by users. As well as enabling users to read, retrieve, update and store patient records accurately, the unit also provides candidates with a thorough understanding of the key issues regarding patient confidentiality and data security.”

A pilot of the ECDL health unit proved to be very successful, with candidates taking an average of ten hours to complete the learning section and 90% of candidates passing the course-end test.

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