I. Masic, H. Pandza, I. Kulasin, Z. Masic, S. Valjevac
Medicinski arhiv, 2009
"Development of computer networks and introduction and application of new technologies in all aspects of human activity needs to be followed by universities in their transformation on how to approach scientific, research, and education teaching curricula. Development and increased use of distance learning (DL) over the past decade have clearly shown the potential and efficiency of information technology applied in education. Use of information technology in medical education is where medical informatics takes its place as important scientific discipline which ensures benefit from IT in teaching and learning process involved. Definition of telemedicine as "use of technologies based on health care delivered on distance" covers areas such as electronic health, tele-health (eHealth), telematics, but also tele-education. Web based medical education today is offered in different forms--from online lectures, online exams, web based continuous education programs, use of electronic libraries, online medical and scientific databases etc. Department of Medical Informatics of Medical Faculty of University of Sarajevo has taken many steps to introduce distance learning in medical curricula--from organising professional--scientific events (congresses, workshop etc), organizing first tele-exam at the faculty and among first at the university, to offering online lectures and online education material at the Department's website (www.unsa-medinfo.org). Distance learning in medical education, as well as telemedicine, significantly influence health care in general and are shaping the future model of medical practice. Basic computer and networks skills must be a part of all future medical curricula. The impact of technical equipment on patient-doctor relationship must be taken into account, and doctors have to be trained and prepared for diagnosing or consulting patients by use of IT. Telemedicine requires special approach in certain medical fields--tele-consultation, tele-surgery, tele-radiology and other specific telemedicine applications should be introduced to the curricula. Telemedicine and distance learning are best suited for medical education and doctor-to-doctor consultation--first contact between doctor and a patient should stay face-to-face when possible. In this paper, we present the results of the project Introduction and Implementation of Distance Learning at the Medical Faculty of University of Sarajevo and compare it with the following expected outcomes: development and integration of information technology in medical education; creation of flexible infrastructure which will enable access to e-learning to all students and teaching staff; improvement of digital literacy of academic population; ensuring high educational standards to students and teaching staff; helping medical staffto develop "life-long learning" approach in work and education."