Integrating learning contexts in a medical informatics program—preparing for the introduction of PACS
This paper analyzes the possibilities to extend learning contexts within a one-year medical informatics educational program (MIP) at a Radiology Department in Sweden1. The MIP was carried out within a theoretical framework based upon the integration of four learning contexts, which were inspired by Nonaka's theory of organizational knowledge creation. A summary of organizational knowledge creation theory and the ideas behind the learning contexts are presented. The main objective of the study was to investigate what would be the major benefits from the use of various learning contexts in a one-year medical informatics program? The MIP was found to form a basis for better learning conditions by increasing the flexibility, accommodating greater numbers of students as well as offering better possibilities for continuous learning. Evaluation of the MIP revealed that 98% of radiology department staff as compared to 39% of the intensive care unit staff, who had followed the hospital routine program, felt competent enough to independently use the functions of a new medical system. Although there are good reason to believe that the superior confidence for information technology (IT) is due to the integration of learning contexts, it can not be excluded that it may be due to other reasons also.