One of the interesting things about FHIR is how it offers new prospects for real practical hands-on education.
This is about much more than that it’s much easier and more accessible than other health informatics standards. These are the reasons why:
- the technology base of the implementation is much more open (browsers, etc)
- there’s a great abundance of open source tools
- the community’s focus on examples means that there’s already lots of examples
- the general focus on patient access to data will mean that students are much more easily able to get access to real data (their own, and others – by permission, of course)
But so far, this has remained just a prospect.
Well, not any more.
Simone uses FHIR to teach her students about interoperability and show them the caveats and real-life problems involved in building connected systems. And that’s only part of her teaching curriculum; in addition to have them map one type of messages to another standard, she also asks her students to select any of the available open-source FHIR clients and servers, play with them for about a month and extend them. And this is just the prelude to the final part of the teaching program: she then organizes a hackathon at the Hochschule where the students bring their pet projects they have been working on and test them against each other
This is really cool – my immediate response was the same as Ewout’s: “I want to be a student at Heilbronn“. This is really teaching students something – real experience at getting information to flow between systems.
Simone told me that she’s planning to post her course notes etc on the web. I’ll be sure to post a link to them when she does. I’m impressed – this is exactly the kind of can-do practical work that FHIR is all about.
Welcome, Simone, to the FHIR community.