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Presentation
Rural but not remote! Access in outback Australia. Report on the implementation of Personal Digital Assistants (PDSs) for medical students, clinical teaching staff and health librarians
9th European conference of medical and health libraries (2004)
  • Lisa Kruesi, University of Queensland
  • Andrew Heath, University of Queensland
  • Kaye Lasserre, University of Queensland
  • Heather Todd, University of Queensland
  • Sarah Thorning, University of Queensland
Abstract
Funding to provide 70 Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to medical students, located at the Rural Clinical Divisions in outback Queensland regions, was obtained early 2003 from the Australian Federal Department of Health and Aged Care. The project, known as the Rural Pack Project, commenced in October 2003 and will continue until the end of 2004. The objectives of the project are to provide access to authoritative, evidence-based information to rural medical students at their point of need and to address equity issues for students placed in remote or isolated areas with limited access to information and technology infrastructure. The project will be used to help identify how such technology can help to educate and prepare students for practicing medicine in the 21st Century and as a means to identify appropriate resources, training and support that are required for PDAs. The Herston Medical Library, University of Queensland, has provided a senior Liaison Librarian to be the Rural Pack Project Coordinator, along with two Liaison Librarians, who are based at the rural sites in Central and South Western Queensland each working at the main hospital within each site. The Coordinator of the Project is leading a team of clinicians, librarians, information technology representatives, medical education officers and medical students who will work together to evaluate the technology. Included on each PDA that will be distributed to participants in the Rural Pack Project are e-resources, including a major drug index, medical textbooks, a medical dictionary and a medical calculator. The Microsoft Office Suite of software, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook are also included on each PDA. A report on the implementation of the project, study design and outcomes reported during 2004 will be provided. Various challenges, such as licensing complexities, that were encountered with the introduction of this innovative service will be also be discussed, as well as future plans.
Keywords
  • Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs),
  • education,
  • medical,
  • graduate,
  • computers,
  • handheld,
  • program evaluation,
  • rural health
Publication Date
September 20, 2004
Comments
Published Version.

Kruesi, L., Heath, A., Lasserre, K., Todd, H. and Thorning, S. (2004). Rural but not remote! Access in outback Australia. Report on the implementation of Personal Digital Assistants (PDSs) for medical students, clinical teaching staff and health librarians. Paper presented at the 9th European conference of medical and health libraries, Santander, Spain.

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© Copyright Lisa Kruesi, Andrew Heath, Kaye Lasserre, Heather Todd and Sarah Thorning, 2004
Citation Information
Lisa Kruesi, Andrew Heath, Kaye Lasserre, Heather Todd, et al.. "Rural but not remote! Access in outback Australia. Report on the implementation of Personal Digital Assistants (PDSs) for medical students, clinical teaching staff and health librarians" 9th European conference of medical and health libraries (2004)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sarah_thorning/1/