Factors to consider: Policy and administration issues

Health worker in NamibiaNational policy
Is there a national policy catering to the need for and supply of health informatics professionals? Who are the stakeholders necessary for a successful national coalition to develop and implement such a policy? Which ministries have been involved in framing the national policy? How could this coalition be encouraged to further the agenda of professionalization of health informatics specialists?

National or regional programs
Based on anticipated demand for graduates, will programs be large enough to justify having programs in each country or is the best economy of scale found in having regional programs that produce health informatics workers for several countries?

Program ownership
Keep in mind that education and training programs for health informatics can be placed in schools run by the government, faith-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, or for-profit organizations.

Program governance
Consider setting up a board of advisors to provide guidance to program leadership. Such a governance body should include representation from a variety of stakeholder groups including employers, government, accreditation bodies, health informatics professionals, and consumers of data.

Program management
How will the program be managed and administered? Do you need to establish a new management system or can you use existing management structures in the school? Do managers have the proper mix of health informatics knowledge and management expertise? Are there appropriate budgeting, accounting, space management, facilities management, student services, and support staff?

What will be the sources of the funds to establish, expand, and maintain the programs? Will the funds be from the government, and if so, which ministry and office? Will they be from the private sector? Will tuition be charged to students? Will grants be available?

What will be the real cost of starting a program, including investment costs and recurring costs? What will be cost for training each cadre?

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