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Project Report

Using information and communication technology to revitalise continuing professional development for rural health professionals: evidence from a pilot project

Submitted: 26 April 2009
Revised: 29 July 2009
Published: 4 November 2009

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Author(s) : Mugisha JF.

John Mugisha

Citation: Mugisha JF.  Using information and communication technology to revitalise continuing professional development for rural health professionals: evidence from a pilot project. Rural and Remote Health 9: 1222. (Online) 2009. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au

ABSTRACT

This project revitalised continuing professional development (CPD) among rural health professionals in Uganda, Africa, using information and communication technology (ICT). The project was piloted in 3 rural hospitals where CPD activities were failing to meet demand because activities were not properly coordinated, the meetings were too infrequent, the delivery methods were inappropriate, and the content was highly supply-driven and generally irrelevant to the performance needs of the health workers. The project intervention involved the installation of various ICT equipment including computers, liquid crystal display (LCD) projectors, office copiers, printers, spiral binders and CDs. A number of health workers were also trained in ICT use. Three years later, an evaluation study was conducted using interviews, focus group discussions and document review. The results indicated that there had been a rapid increase in the number of staff attending the CPD sessions, an increased staff mix among participants, improved quality of CPD presentations, increased use of locally produced content, more relevant topics discussed and an increased interest by hospital management in CPD, manifested by commitment of staff training funds. Staff motivation, attitude and responsiveness to clients had also improved as a result of the invigorated CPD activities.

Key words: continuing professional development, information and communication technology, staff development.

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