eLearning for Health in Brazil - UNA-SUS in Numbers

  • Vinícius de Araújo Oliveira Open University for the National Health System of Brazil (UNA-SUS) Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)
  • Leonardo Cançado Monteiro Savassi Ouro Preto Federal University (UFOP) Minas Gerais Federal University (UFMG)
  • Alysson Feliciano Lemos Open University for the National Health System of Brazil (UNA-SUS) Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)
  • Francisco Eduardo de Campos Open University for the National Health System of Brazil (UNA-SUS) Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)
Keywords: e-learning, distance learning, health policy

Abstract

Use of technology enabled learning for distance education in the health field is growing, and new challenges are emerging related to reaching health professionals working in remote areas. The Open University of the Unified Health System (UNA-SUS) promotes Continuing Professional Development and uses Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) for distance education to theBrazilian health workforce, mainly in primary care. Methods: As part of ongoing quality assurance assessments, we performed a descriptive analysis of courses, learners, and completion rates from all enrolments in UNA-SUS for Qualification and Specialisation Courses. Data were collected directly from the UNA-SUS information system. Results: From March 2008 to October 2015 (91 months), UNA-SUS had 206,834 enrolments in 40 Specialisation Courses and 60 Qualification Courses, reaching 119,109 professionals (mean - 1.7 courses per person). These were distributed amongst 5,199 Brazilian municipalities, 59% of which had a population of 10,000 to 50,000 inhabitants. Learners were mainly women (80.6%), nurses (26.4%), and working in primary care (39.8%). Completion rates were 67.3% for Specialisation Courses and 37.9% for Qualification Courses, which were self-instructional. Reaching 93% of all Brazilian cities and 119,109 learners, UNA-SUS was able to deliver health education to health professionals (physicians, nurses, and others) in rural and other areas of shortage such as indigenous districts and metropolitan outskirts. UNA-SUS has succeeded in expanding ten-fold the seats for Specialisation Courses for family health, and has good results in TEL Qualification Courses. UNA-SUS has innovated Continuing Professional Development for health professionals in Brazil. These courses responded to the previously unattended  educational  needs  of  the  workforce, focusing on reaching primary care professionals in smaller towns and remote areas. UNA-SUS is consolidating itself as a nationwide provider of continuing education.

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Author Biographies

Vinícius de Araújo Oliveira, Open University for the National Health System of Brazil (UNA-SUS) Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)

MD, MPH

Knowledge Management Coordinator
UNA-SUS Executive Secretariat / Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)

Leonardo Cançado Monteiro Savassi, Ouro Preto Federal University (UFOP) Minas Gerais Federal University (UFMG)

MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Medical School

Alysson Feliciano Lemos, Open University for the National Health System of Brazil (UNA-SUS) Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)

Engineer, MPH

Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator
UNA-SUS Executive Secretariat / Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)

Francisco Eduardo de Campos, Open University for the National Health System of Brazil (UNA-SUS) Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)

MD, MPH, PHD

Senior Researcher

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Published
2016-02-05
How to Cite
Oliveira, V., Savassi, L., Lemos, A., & Campos, F. (2016). eLearning for Health in Brazil - UNA-SUS in Numbers. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 4, e9 (1-7). Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/JISfTeH/article/view/139
Section
Special Theme: Telehealth in Brazil