Validating a Competency-Based HIT Curriculum in a BHA and MHA Program Through the Voice of the Customer
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Competency mapping in higher education is not a new technique for curriculum development. Competency-based curriculum in health care administration programs has appeared in the literature every few years. Texas State University has taught a bachelor’s in health administration (BHA) and a master’s in health administration (MHA) for decades and recently wanted to validate its curriculum. Professors began with one course, the management of health information technology (HIT). We had two objectives with this work: What are the current health care information technology competencies required of health care administrators? Is the quality and depth of the current HIT curriculum sufficient? A competency-mapping exercise was used for the first question, and a survey mechanism was used for the second. Three demographic, 10 Likert-type-scale statements, and one free-text question were presented through an online survey instrument to stakeholders (alumni and preceptors). Stakeholders were asked about the importance, quality, and capabilities enabled by the HIT course. Nonparametric tests were used for analysis. The competency-mapping exercise highlighted clear relationships with learning objectives and identified two shortcomings in the current syllabus for both BHA and a MHA programs. Sixty-nine alumni and 20 preceptors provided valid responses to the surveys. Stakeholders generally agreed with the content of the current courses, but asked for updated material and more exposure to live electronic health records. Our methods highlighted shortfalls in our curriculum for one of our courses. We will next create surveys for the rest of the curriculum, engaging with our stakeholders in a continuous quality-improvement manner.