Title European Network for Harmonization of Training in Hematology (H-Net)
Project Number 142077-LLP-1-2008-1-NL-LEONARDO-LNW
Project Type Networks
Country EU-Centralised Projects
The aim of H-Net is to further implement a harmonized curriculum for Hematology in Europe. The core of the project consists of two phases. First, a survey will be undertaken of recently graduated hematologists to assess their qualifications, then the results will be compared to the recommendations expressed in the Curriculum Passport (which was developed in an earlier Leonardo Da Vinci project). The survey should allow H-Net to identify gaps in hematology training throughout Europe. For instance, we may observe that in country A, respondents score below the recommendations with respect to their knowledge and competence in the area of bone marrow failure while in country B respondents consistently achieve low scores in the diagnosis of immunophenotyping by flow cytometry. Such information, summarized in a “European expression map for competence in hematology”, would enable informed decision making. National societies, national authorities, and individuals themselves, can decide on targeted additional education. Conversely taking into account their national context, countries may decide against addressing situations they feel are not relevant to their population. In Nordic countries, for example, awareness rather than competence may be considered adequate for thalassemia major. In essence, H-Net survey results would enable decision making to be based on fact rather than assumption, and allow comparisons to be made against European benchmarks. In the second phase H-Net will use the information to tailor existing educational tools, such as workshops, tutorials, and webcasts. The results will also be used to develop a new educational instrument called the Hematology Master-Class, to fit the educational needs of hematologists and organize them in the countries where they are most needed.
Furthermore, as part of H-Net individual hematologists will be able to create online personal profiles, known as the Hematology Portfolio, not unlike those of network websites, such as LinkedIn, MySpace, or FaceBook. In the portfolio applications, which are being developed by the University of Uppsala Learning Lab, one of the partners of H-Net, hematologists can enter their own qualifications which will be compared to the recommendations of the Curriculum Passport allowing personal gaps to be identified. The Hematology Portfolio will then automatically make training suggestions specific to the individual educational needs of the hematologist, which may be workshops, tutorials, training opportunities organized by third parties, or recommendations from other portfolio holders. Ultimately, the portfolio system should become a widely used professional network of hematologists throughout Europe.
With the European Commission aiming to promote mobilization of health professionals and improve competence across the board, the H-Net project undoubtedly has implications that go beyond hematology. Currently health education organization and content remain a national prerogative, with the European Commission having no jurisdiction. The Commission realizes that harmonization of qualifications will only take place if European professionals themselves convince their national authorities of the need for educational reform. H-Net plans to meet this challenge by organizing two policy conferences to bring together the national authorities and the European Commission to discuss the road map towards a harmonized curriculum for hematology and, possibly, other medical specialties.