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Thesis Conducted by Student in Medical Informatics Field Based on Health Informatics Competencies Framework: A Study in Iran

Elham Nazari, Mehran Aghemiri, Seyed Mohammad Tabatabaei, Sayyed Mostafa Mostafavi, Shokoufeh Aalaei, Saeed Eslami HasanAbady, Hamed Tabesh



Introduction: One of the challenges of multidisciplinary disciplines such as Medical Informatics, health information technology, etc., especially for those who have just started research in this field, is the lack of familiarity with research fields in this field. Medical Informatics has various research fields related to the use of technology in the field of health care with the aim of reducing costs, improving the quality of health care and reducing possible medical errors. Iran is a country where medical informatics is a fledgling field and few universities in This field is accepted by students. Due to the specializations and clinical facilities concentrated in each university, research is being done differently and with variety. At the same time, some important fields related to the field may be missed. Therefore, in this study, in order to identify the most researched fields in this field and the neglected fields of research, the dissertations done in the field of medical informatics in Iranian universities were reviewed based on the health informatics framework.

Materials and methods: Defended dissertations available to master and doctoral students in medical informatics in the years 2001 to 2018 in the universities of Tehran, Iran, Tarbiat Modares, Shahid Beheshti, Shiraz, Tabriz and Mashhad were collected in this study. Three medical informatics graduates from different universities assigned dissertation titles to a competency and an area of skill based on the Health Informatics Competencies Framework. The second stage of the study was performed by two other experts (different from the previous three experts). At this stage, the opinions of three experts on thesis were compared. Each dissertation title was assigned to a specific competency and a specific area of skill by the majority opinion method.

 Results: The results showed that most of the master's and doctoral dissertations in medical informatics were in the field of information science and methods, in which area of skill (data analysis and visualization) and decision support systems and informatics for participatory health were more than others. PhD students and the area of skill (decision support system) and (Architecture of health IS) are more popular with postgraduate students, while PhD students at the University of Mashhad, Tehran and Shahid Beheshti in the field of methods and basic principles of activities More than other areas, information and communication technology, biomedical science and health were not considered. Shahid Beheshti University had the most activity in the skill (Realization of benefits from IS) in the master's degree and in the degree PhD in skill (Application Mathematical concepts) has the most activity, in total, the most Competencies in which dissertations have been done in the country Competency (information science and core principles and method s) have been. In the universities of Iran, Tehran and Mashhad, the frequency of dissertations in competency (core principles and methods) and in other universities in competency (information science) has been higher. Most research in the doctoral program in 2017 was related to the University of Mashhad. Most of the research in master's degree in 2014 was related to Iran University. Most of the research in the doctoral program in 2017 was related to Mashhad University.

Conclusion: The results of this research can help field researchers in conducting new research in the field and can help in useful, scientific and effective design of research projects of researchers, university professors, educational planners and health care service providers. Also, due to the interdisciplinary nature of medical informatics, the use of professors in various fields and specialties in Iranian universities can be effective in defining topics for research for theses.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30699/fhi.v9i1.230


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