R.S. Rosa, R. Bordin, P.D. Fisher, M.M. Klück
Methods of information in medicine, 2006
"OBJECTIVE: We describe the teaching methods, involving computer and Internet-based resources, used in the "Administration and Planning in Health Care" course of the undergraduate medical program at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.
METHOD: Description on how the curriculum guidelines for the undergraduate medical education in Brazil have been implemented at this university. The guidelines specify that graduates should be skilled and knowledgeable in health care administration and management, understand the market dynamics of health care services, and be prepared to contribute to the development of health policy.
RESULTS: A required 60-hour course provides students with an opportunity to learn about the structure, planning and administration of the Brazilian and of other health care systems, and their roles, as health care professionals, within those systems. The course is also intended to allow students to develop the minimal skill set required for manipulation of health care data available from national and international databases, and to use the Internet as a source of information in health care. The curriculum includes: Module 1 - basic computer skills, an introduction to networks as an infrastructure for management, the use of spreadsheets and databases for data processing and system modelling, retrieval of Internet-based health data and on-line bibliographic searches; Module 2 - health system financing and service quality management, using a university hospital as a case study; and Module 3 - a comparison of the Brazilian public health care system (SUS) with other national health systems resulting in a term paper formatted for journal submission and presented at a simulated conference at the end of the course.
CONCLUSION: Progressive shift in emphasis from theory to practice in this course has resulted in better development of the skill set required for the students."