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What do you think should be included in a course in Consumer Health Informatics (CHI)  in a graduate medical informatics program?

I know a graduate curriculum begging for input from the most engaged and empowered consumers, patient advocates, and technology and health professionals – passionate about participatory medicine.

As faculty Oregon Health Science University, Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, I’ve been asked to teach the CHI course. The class was developed by Holly Jimison, now at Northeastern University. Offered online this spring to graduate students in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, it will be taken primarily by students getting a masters or doctorate in medical informatics. Students access lectures and other materials online through Sakai, participate in online forums and submit papers and presentations over a 12 week period.

Consumer informatics changes rapidly, so it’s challenging to stay up-to-date (like computers, it can get stale as soon as it walks out the door).  I’ve been editing course content and updating lectures, but all during this process I thought == how can I get the voice of consumers and advocates in the curriculum?  Answer: ask them!

What would you include in Consumer Health Informatics graduate curriculum?

Here’s a description of the class, and list of topics.  Feel free to comment about key areas of interest and less important topics, great content that you’re aware of – slides, videos, TedX talks, whatever. Of course if you really have something to say, contact me directly at – guest speakers welcome!

It would be great to start a discussion == I’ll make sure this  DISCUSSION is part of the students’ exercise! :-)

Description: This course focuses on the intersection between consumers, information technologies and health care. CHIT explores the design, use and impact of emerging technologies that aim to engage consumers to participate in their health and health care. We review trends, opportunities and challenges in consumer-facing health IT, taking the perspective of various stakeholders in particular consumers, patients & caregivers.

Draft Topics:

  1. Overview of Consumer Health Informatics
  2. Empowered consumers & ePatients (Tom Ferguson & SPM)
  3. Trends in consumer technology and health IT
  4. Quality of Health Information, information search
  5. Barriers to access; literacy & eLiteracy and learning styles
  6. Chronic conditions; disability
  7. User Design; Vocabulary; Pubic Reporting; Data visualization
  8. Personal health information, privacy & security
  9. Personal health records & portals, eHealth tools
  10. Health Information Exchange
  11. Patient-Clinician Communication; OpenNotes & Blue Button
  12. Ethics; Workflows; Patient Generated Data
  13. Caregivers; Peer to Peer Support
  14. mobile Health; Quantified self
  15. Research and systematic reviews; Consumer Meaningful Use
  16. Professionalism; Patient satisfaction


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