Developing ehealth
capabilities for practice
in a rapidly changing
healthcare environment
“Digital Literacy is the awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital tools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyse and synthesize digital resources, construct new knowledge, create media expressions, and communicate with others, in the context of specific life situations, in order to enable constructive social action; and to reflect upon this process”

(Project DigEuLit, 2005: The development of a European Framework for Digital Literacy).

Skills in using information communication technologies (ICT) are inadequate for a digital healthcare future. The health system of the future will require health professionals to move beyond a narrow range of ICT skills to develop a literacy framed by complex societal and technological engagement.

In 2014, Gray et al. argued that current approaches to health education were inadequate to prepare graduates to function within a rapidly changing digital environment. Our interest is on moving educators and students beyond the narrow focus on current programs, technologies, skills and competencies. We argue that the major challenge is to develop graduate capabilities needed for a future that cannot yet be envisaged.

The foundation for our work is Gray’s (2014) premise that the development of digital literacy cannot be founded on a curriculum built on computer skills or information literacies. In this small seed project, we have extensively scoped the literature on digital capabilities, conducted interviews with key health experts, produced a contextualised digital literacy framework,

developed a digital literacy mapping tool and mapped a health professional curricula. In this way, we have identified existing digital literacies and opportunities to embed content to develop metacognitive processes and scaffolding to create lifelong digital learners.

We thank the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching for funding this project.

This site has been developed to ensure our work provides the foundation for others to be built upon through end user interaction with our content. As we moved through this project, it was clear that we should avoid producing a stand-alone module that addresses narrow ICT skills. Rather, we wanted people to be challenged to think in different ways, whereby digital literacy is considered as important as all other graduate capabilities, rather than being simply tacked on or the focus of yet another IT course. We hope that you enjoy the video that we produced with Creativa and that it prompts you to think about digital literacy in a very different way.