Health Informatics for Managers

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A Course work in progress by Dr David More and Dr Geoff McDonnell

MGMT6 Health Informatics


Unit Description

Health informatics is defined by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners as “the appropriate and innovative application of the concepts and technologies of the information age to improve health care and health. With the evolution of the field, health informatics is probably best defined in the context of eHealth, which is generally accepted as an umbrella term composed of two elements:

  • Health informatics (related to the collection, analysis and movement of health information and data to support health care), and to a lesser extent
  • Telehealth (related to direct, e.g. videoconferencing, or indirect, e.g. website delivery of health information or health care to a recipient).”

eHealth encompasses products, systems and services, including tools for health authorities and professionals, as well as personalised health systems for patients and citizens. The scope of eHealth includes desktop to bedside to population health activities, which present complex information management challenges to support individualised patient care This introductory Health Informatics unit focuses on:

  • Health Systems Operations and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Impact
  • Electronic Health Record Management
  • Health Informatics in Practice
  • Evidence-Based Decision Support, Health Knowledge Management
  • Overall Management of ICT in the Health Sector


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Mode and Duration

The nominal duration and workload of the unit involves a minimum of 100 hours of study and primary research activities, completion of learning activities, reading, and independent learning. You will receive asynchronous tutor support throughout the duration of the unit. This unit involves an additional minimum of 50 hours allocated to assessment related activities comprising reflection on and integration of unit content, completion of learning activities, and reading, research, and writing associated with assessment.

Relation of the Unit to Course Objectives

This Unit aims to have those who complete the unit be able to intelligently and effectively manage the ICT aspects of the area for which they have management responsibility.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit you should:

  • Understand the importance of information and information flows in the Health System and how information can enable improved quality and safety of patient care while also improving efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Understand how these flows are facilitated, regulated, protected and managed.
  • Have an appreciation of the complexities and difficulties associated with use and management of the use of health information and what management can do to improve overall health and system outcomes.
  • Have an appreciation of the risks and complexities associated with the design, selection, deployment and operation of information technology within the health sector.

Graduate Attributes

On successful completion of this unit, you will have developed Graduate Attributes endorsed and supported by the University. Information about the ACU Graduate Attributes is outlined on the ACU website Specific information on Graduate Attributes assessed in this unit is shown in the Assessment Overview.

Overview of Content

The unit is designed to provide you with comprehensive and appropriate content, academic guidance, references, case studies and activities delivered over 12 weeks, in which you will consolidate your learning and complete assessment tasks. You are expected to spend approximately 150 hours per unit engaged in reading, research and the completion of assessment tasks in order to achieve the unit's learning outcomes.

An Overview of Health Information Technology and Health Informatics

By the end of this section you should:

  • Understand the Aims of the Unit
  • Understand the Scope of Health Informatics and some Basic Definitions
  • Be aware of a brief history of Health Informatics
  • Appreciate the clinical and managerial objectives of Health IT deployment (Safety, Quality, Efficiency, Cost Control, Staff Replacement etc.)
  • Recognise the importance of benefits management / workflow re-design etc.
  • Be aware of some examples of major Program successes failures.
  • Be introduced to the present Australian e-Health situation and current national plans

The Nature and Culture of Health Care

Management decisions amongst a strife of interests

  • By the end of this section you should:
    • Understand the broad shape of the management and operations of Australian Health System.
    • Be aware of the recent attempts at Health Sector Reform and it objectives. (NHHRC, National E-Health Strategy).
    • Be able to identify the key actors in the Health Sector.
    • Understand a high level overview of the key areas of Health Sector Financing, Workforce Management and Health Sector Management Culture and Attitudes.
    • Appreciate the perspective of Caring Cultures and their impact on Health Services.
    • Recognise the issues around Change Management in the Health Sector.

Sources, Nature And Types of Health Information

Patient, Clinicians, Information Providers, Professional Bodies, Guidelines, Literature

  • By the end of this section you should:
  • Understand the various sources and types of information used in the health sector. As examples:
    • Patients provide historical and symptomatic information as well as family information etc.
    • Clinicians provide interpretive information based on patient provided information, clinical findings and investigative results.
    • Clinical Information providers provide investigative information (Labs, Imaging etc.) to assist in diagnosis and treatment planning.
    • Professional Bodies and Associations - provide guidelines and frameworks to approaches diagnosis and treatment. (Automation of such things important for access - Map of Medicine etc.)
    • Clinical and Professional Literature
    • Commercial providers to ease information assessment task.
    • Artefacts and Representations of Data Information Knowledge Wisdom
    • Big Digital Data with omics and imaging and social activity tracking
  • Appreciate the scope, range and complexity of available information poses significant challenges for all involved in the Sector.

Capture, Coding and Quality Management of Information

By the end of this section you should:

  • Understand the types of systems that are used to capture health information. (EHRs, EMRs, Departmental Systems, Imaging Systems, Administrative and Scheduling Systems etc.)
  • Be aware of the use of coding systems and terminologies and how and where they are used.
  • Have been introduced to the ideas of information quality, reliability and integrity.

Processing Health Information: Clinical Practice

By the end of this section you should:

  • Understand the basic functionality and uses of
    • Office Based Systems (Used by GPs and Specialists)
    • Hospital Systems
    • Clinical Support Systems (Laboratory, Radiology etc.).

Processing Health Information: Management Systems and Community and Public Health

By the end of this section you should:

  • Understand the role, importance and use of
    • Scheduling Systems
    • Financial, Logistics and Inventory Systems (Supply Chain and Catalogues etc.)
    • Building Management and Environmental Management Systems
    • Managerial Information Systems, Executive Information Systems, Display Systems and Dashboards.
    • Community Portals and Outreach Systems.
    • Population Survey and Monitoring Systems.

Delivery and Exchange of Information: Clinicians

By the end of this section you should:

  • Understand the role, importance and use of
    • Simple Information Access (Terminals etc)
    • Secure Messaging
    • Mobile Devices and Services
    • Shared EHRS

Delivery and Exchange of Information: Consumers, Managers and Administrators

By the end of this section you should:

  • Understand the nature, value and place of the following application domains
    • Data Mining in the Health Sector
    • Population Health Monitoring / Epidemic Detection
    • Consumer Information Access and Use (Portals etc.)
    • Personal Health Records
    • Standards and Standards Setting
    • Governance and Leadership

Using Health Information To Make A Difference in the Clinical Domain

By the end of this section you should:

  • Understand how and why these Health IT Interventions can make a difference in the Health Sector
    • Decision support
    • Outcome monitoring, Quality Improvement
    • Pay for Performance
    • Rapid Learning
    • Support of Comparative Effectiveness Research
    • Telemedicine, Telehealth, Teleradiology

Additionally benefits assessment and realisation is discussed and reviewed.

Using Health Information To Make A Difference in the Consumer and Management Domain

By the end of this section you should understand how and why these (among other) Health IT Interventions can assist in and enable making a difference in the Health Sector

  • Service and Facilities Planning
  • Supply Chain Optimisation
  • Service Marketing
  • Trial Support / Post Marketing Surveillance
  • Consumer Information Access and Engagement

The Practicalities of Project Management, Deployment and Adoption

By the end of this section you should:

  • Understand the management and delivery of operational Health IT systems requires a range of key management skills and knowledge. These include:
    • Health IT Strategy
    • Elements of Project and Change Management (Planning, Funding, Governance, Leadership, Clinician Involvement)
    • Privacy
    • Data Protection and Security Approaches-- Polices and Impacts
    • Incentive use
    • Procurement and System Selection Approaches and Issues
    • Business Process Re-engineering And Workflow Redesign

Health Information Futures

By the end of this section you should:

  • Be aware of a range of different and potentially important technologies that are beginning to become mainstream. These include:
    • Personalised Health
    • New Interface Approaches (AI, NLP, Voice Recognition etc.)
    • Device / EHR Integration
    • Always On and Connected Technologies.
    • Wearable Computing.
    • Artificial Intelligence in Decision Support.
    • Robotics.
    • Mobile Health and Associated Technologies.
    • 3D Printing.
    • Health Systems Science


Prescribed readings

  • Health Care Information Systems: A Practical Approach for Health Care Management [Paperback]

Karen A. Wager (Author), Frances W. Lee (Author), John P. Glaser (Author)

  • Found here Available as both Paperback and Amazon Kindle and
  • as .pdf E-book from Wiley

Note it is a good deal cheaper in the US.

Recommended readings

These will be provided in each of the Sections. The following are texts of known quality from expert authors (links embedded in text provide details from Amazon etc.).

  • Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine (Health Informatics) - Edward H. Shortliffe (Editor), James J. Cimino (Editor) (2006)
  • Electronic Health Records - Jerome H. Carter ( 2008)
  • Guide to Health Informatics - Enrico Coiera (2003)
  • Health Informatics: Practical Guide for Healthcare and Information Technology Professionals (Fifth Edition) (Digital Edition) Robert E Hoyt, Nora Bailey, Ann Yoshihashi (2012)
  • Health Information Technology Basics: A Concise Guide to Principles and Practice - Teri Thomas-Brogan (Author) (2008)
  • Managing Health Care Information Systems: A Practical Approach for Health Care Executives - Karen A. Wager (Author), Frances Wickham Lee DBA (Author), John P. Glaser (Author), Lawton Robert Burns (Foreword) (2005)
  • Nursing Informatics: Where Caring and Technology Meet (Health Informatics) - Marion J. Ball (Editor), Donna DuLong (Editor), Susan K. Newbold (Editor), Joyce E. Sensmeier (Editor), Diane J. Skiba (Editor), Michelle R. Troseth (Editor), Brian Gugerty (Editor), Patricia Hinton Walker (Editor), Judith V. Douglas (Editor), Kathryn J. Hannah (Editor) (2010)
  • Project Management for Healthcare Informatics (Health Informatics) - Susan Houston (Author), Lisa Anne Bove (Author) (2007)
  • Public Health Informatics and Information Systems - Patrick W. O'Carroll (Editor), William A. Yasnoff (Series Editor), M. Elizabeth Ward (Series Editor), Laura H. Ripp (Series Editor), Ernest L. Martin (Series Editor) (2010)

Three Very Useful Resources

The Wikipedia Handbook of Biomedical Informatics.

The link is here: Wikipedia Handbook

ONC HIT Workforce Development Curriculum Components

Access is obtained simply by registering a user name and password from the page below.

The link is here: US Health Informatics Course

Health IT Bibliography

The Health IT Bibliography is a collection of carefully selected, high quality resources for health care and information technology (IT) stakeholders searching for information on how health IT can transform care delivery processes and improve quality, safety, and efficiency.

For each category below, users will find a mixture of both peer-reviewed articles from professional journals and Web-based resources from highly respected health care and IT organizations. Summaries of each item are provided in addition to a link for users to access the full resource. Where possible, the National Resource Center has attempted to select resources that are freely available in the public domain. However, some of the articles may require individual or institutional access.

This resource is designed to be dynamic, growing with the health IT community to include new knowledge, resources, and technologies. If you have a suggestion for the bibliography, we invite you to submit it.

Last Modified: May 2013

Organizational Strategy

• Adoption Strategies • Business Case


• Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) • Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) Systems • Disease Registries • Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems • Electronic Prescribing (eRx) • Health Information Exchange (HIE) • Personal Health Records (PHRs) • Standards and Interoperability • Telehealth


• Evaluation Studies in Health IT • Patient Safety • Return on Investment • Usability • Workflow Analysis


• Education and Training • Population Health Case Reporting • Privacy and Security • Quality Measurement and Improvement

Populations and Perspectives

• Long Term Care • Medical Home • Nursing Informatics • Transitions in Care

Here is the link:

Health IT Bibliography

Recommended journals

Recommended websites

Other References

Questions & Comments to Geoff McDonnell
Personal tools