Digital health micro-credentials to keep workforce up to speed

Tuesday, 21 July, 2020

Digital health micro-credentials to keep workforce up to speed

Three digital health courses will be delivered by RMIT Online and the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to provide the skills required to match the fast-moving pace of technology in health care and ensure Australia’s hospitals and health workforce can continue to deliver high-quality care in new and improved ways.

Each online course will be a blend of learning and coaching by industry mentors, taking six weeks to complete — allowing participants to make an immediate impact in their own workplace and more broadly.

The Technology Enabled Care course will equip clinicians working closely with patients to understand, assess and integrate new technologies and services into their practice safely, to improve preventative health outcomes where access to services is limited.

The Healthcare Design course will equip design thinkers and leaders in health care and social services with the capacity to reimagine and design prototypes of new digitally enabled healthcare services that incorporate good healthcare design principles.

The Digital Health Strategy and Change course will prepare clinical and professional healthcare leaders to innovatively and digitally enable transformations within their organisation.

The courses will be fully credentialed by RMIT University.

RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness said the courses represent a vital step forward in the delivery of healthcare training that will enhance patient care and unlock transformative capabilities in the growing sector.

“The healthcare sector employs more than one in 10 working Australians and is going to continue to grow, with another quarter of a million jobs being created between now and 2024.

“Currently skills gaps in key areas like digital health, change management and remote patient care are holding us back. These skills are critical to enable innovation and transformation in the healthcare sector, so we need to address all three at once.

“We have designed our courses with the understanding that people, not technology, are at the core of effective health care and that new technologies can improve outcomes and equity in access to care.”

The Digital Health CRC will be the first CRC to combine forces with one of Australia’s leading technical universities to create industry-relevant micro-credentials.

“The pace of technological change is unrelenting, which means we need learning formats that enable healthcare professionals to adopt and adapt quickly,” Digital Health Education Manager Dr Melanie Haines explained.

“Micro-credentials are the perfect answer and we are pleased to not only be partnering with RMIT Online in the delivery of these courses, but to be sponsoring 70 places.

“These courses will equip Australia’s healthcare professionals and organisations with the capability to integrate technologies such as apps, wearables, internet-enabled devices, virtual/augmented reality, AI and data analytics to improve delivery of patient care.

“We hope following the success of this trial, we can expand opportunities for healthcare professionals to obtain digital health micro-credentials in the future.”

In addition to the RMIT Online and Digital Health CRC collaboration, other partners have been involved in the development of the courses: Queensland Health, Telstra Health, youth cancer organisation Canteen and RMIT’s Health Transformation Lab.

Queensland Health Acting Deputy Director-General and Chief Clinical Information Officer Professor Keith McNeil said it is imperative for industry to work with education providers to quickly upskill health workers in critical innovations happening across the sector.

“In this environment, harnessing the capability for innovation to enhance patient care, transform health delivery and preserve healthcare capacity while creating better health and wellbeing outcomes is essential. Queensland Health is pleased to partner with RMIT Online and DHCRC to be supporting the healthcare workforce of today and into the future,” he said.

Trials in digitally enabled healthcare have found significant scope for digital health practices to improve patient outcomes and lessen loads on service providers. A CSIRO trial of telehealth monitoring for patients with chronic conditions showed a 53% reduction in the number of hospital admissions and a 40% reduction in mortality, with the Australian Digital Health Agency identifying a crucial need to embed digital practices in healthcare workforce training.

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