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Glossary of Medical Terms
A term that refers to all forms of electronic health services provided over the Internet. It includes all educational, information and commercial services and products offered by professionals, non-professionals, businesses and consumers. Based on the unique capabilities of Internet, E-Health is enabling the delivery of clinical services that previously have been domain of telemedicine and telehealth. E-health differs from telemedicine and telehealth in that it is not "professional-centric" and is motivated by the financial gain, whereas telemedicine and telehealth are not. As it is Internet-based, E-health is making the provision of health care more efficient.
Educational or Instructional Objectives
Statements that describe what learners should be able to master. A major aim is the acquisition of facts, concepts and principles. Developing instructional objectives involves learning the fundamentals and vocabulary of each discipline and developing a logical progression of concepts in each discipline. Resources and materials are more effectively deployed when instructional objectives are explicit. It is important to assure that objectives are measurable and that they delineate a specific level of competence. One can and should distinguish between knowledge, skill and attitude objectives.
A measure of the extent to which a specific intervention, procedure, regimen, or service, when deployed in the field in routine circumstances, does what it is intended to do for a specified population. In the health field, it is a measure of output from those health services that contribute towards reducing the dimension of a problem or improving an unsatisfactory situation.
The ability to produce the necessary or desired result.
An ability to perform well or achieve a result without wasted energy, resources, effort, time or money. Efficiency can be measured in physical terms (technical efficiency) or terms of cost (economic efficiency). Greater efficiency is achieved where the same amount and standard of services are produced for a lower cost, if a more useful activity is substituted for a less useful one at the same cost or if needless activities are eliminated.
An educational program where students are given the opportunity to select subjects or projects of their own choice, not covered by obligatory medical courses. This enables students to pursue individual aspirations, provides students with increased responsibility to further their own learning, and facilitates career choice by providing an opportunity to explore various areas of interest.
A state of being fair or equal; equity in health implies the ideal that everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain his or her full health potential. More pragmatically, it implies that no one should be disadvantaged by being prevented from achieving this potential. The term inequity refers to differences in health, which are not only unnecessary and avoidable but, in addition, are considered unfair and unjust.
Essays or Open-Ended Questions
An assessment method, distinguished from short-answer questions by the scope, the length of required answers, and the relative lack of specific cues for recall. Essay questions typically deal with larger issues and are based on information that is spread out over a number of learning sources. Students' answers should reflect both how much is known about a topic and how well organized knowledge of the subject is. As essay questions and answers are comparatively complex, more abilities are displayed than with other question types. They may be used to assess knowledge of basic and clinical science and its application to clinical problems. They provide information about the respondent perceptions, reasoning abilities, attitudes, feelings, and experiences. Because such questions typically require extensive knowledge as well as analytical and writing skills, they perhaps are best suited for deciding who the top students in a course are. The essential weakness of essay questions is that they can be ambiguous, difficult to grade reliably and require scorers with relevant knowledge and training.
The branch of philosophy that deals with distinctions between right and wrong and with the moral consequences of human actions. Examples of ethical issues that arise in medical practice and research include informed consent, confidentiality, respect for human rights, and scientific integrity.
A process that attempts to systematically and objectively determine the relevance, effectiveness, and impact of activities in light of their objectives. Evaluation can be related to structure, process, or outcome. One can distinguish these various types:
Formative individual evaluation provides feedback to an individual (usually a learner) in order to improve that individual's performance. This type of evaluation identifies areas for improvement and provides specific suggestions for improvement serving as an educational tool.
Summative individual evaluation measures whether specific objectives were accomplished by an individual in order to place a value on the performance of that individual. It may certify competency or lack of competency in performance in a particular area.
Formative program evaluation provides information in order to improve a program's performance. It usually takes the form of surveys of learners to obtain feedback about and suggestions for improving a curriculum. Quantitative information such as ratings of various aspects of the curriculum can help identify areas that need revision. Qualitative information, such as responses to open-ended questions about program strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggestions for change, provide feedback in areas that may not have been anticipated and provide ideas for improvement. Information can also be obtained from faculty or other observers, such as nurses and patients.
Summative program evaluation measures the success of a curriculum in achieving learner objectives for all targeted learners, its success in achieving its process objectives, and/or its success in engaging, motivating, and pleasing its learners and faculty. In addition to quantitative data, summative program evaluation may include qualitative information about unintended barriers or unanticipated effects encountered in program implementation.
Formative evaluations generally require
the least amount of rigor, whereas summative individual and summative
program evaluation for external use (e.g., certification of competence)
requires the greatest amount of rigor. When a high degree of
methodological rigor is required, the measurement instrument must be
appropriate in terms of content, reliability, validity, and practicality.
A method used to assess interpersonal and communication skills, professional behaviors, and some aspects of patient care and systems-based practice. Usually, evaluators completing rating forms in a 360-degree evaluation are superiors, peers, subordinates, and patients and their families. Most 360-degree evaluation processes use a surveyor questionnaire to gather information about an individual's performance on several topics, such as teamwork, communication, management skills, and decision-making. Most 360-degree evaluations use rating scales to assess how frequently a behavior is performed. The ratings are summarized for all evaluators by topic and also overall to provide feedback. Such feedback is more accurate when the evaluation is intended to give formative feedback rather than summative. Reproducible results are easily obtained when several evaluators rate examinees; a greater number of faculty and patients are needed for a greater degree of reliability