Introduction to Health Informatics Science (SBI103)

10 credits

Aim of this module

This rotation will provide trainees with the basic informatics knowledge and understanding of the skills and tools needed by all professionals in modern healthcare systems to provide safe, secure, high-quality, effective patient-centred services. Learning will be developed and applied in the work based training and contextualised to patient care and patient safety. This module will provide the trainee with the basic informatics knowledge and understanding of the skills and tools needed by all professionals in modern healthcare systems to provide safe, secure, high-quality, effective patient-centred services. This module will provide the trainee with the basic informatics knowledge and understanding of the skills and tools needed by all professionals in modern healthcare systems to provide safe, secure, high-quality, effective patient-centred services.  

  1. Successfully complete the national Information Governance training module (with a score of more than 80%).
  2. Perform a clinical audit and produce an audit report.
  3. Advise peers and colleagues on best practice in data and information security, patient confidentiality, record sharing, information sharing with patients/clients and records access by patient.
  4. Access local and national clinical knowledge bases and care pathway guidance.
  5. Send, receive and store communications containing patient/clinical information safely and securely in accordance with policy, protocols, legislation and codes.
  6. Perform a review of a local clinical IT system for patient safety and security compliance.
Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Apply information governance principles and best practice in the workplace and pass the national Information Governance training module.

2 2

Design and carry out clinical audit with relevant supporting information.

3 2

Analyse and interpret the data from a clinical audit and prepare a written report, including an action plan.

4 2

Present the findings from a clinical audit to an audience of peers.

5 3

Create and use patient-related data, applying data and information security best practice in a clinical context, and advise and support peers and colleagues about data and information security best practice related to patient information.

6 3

Store, manage and share records and patient information appropriately, safely and securely with others, including patients/clients.

7 3

Provide advice and guidance to patients/clients and citizens regarding access to and ownership of personal health information/records.

8 4

Map the information flow between different sectors of health and social care.

9 4

Locate and access sources of clinical knowledge and decision support and write a short report to explain how these resources can be used to improve patient care.

10 5

Send, and receive and manage information from other professionals, in written or electronic formats according to security and confidentiality requirements.

11 5

Critically review available evidence to identify common breaches of security and confidentiality and propose ways to reduce these errors.

12 6

Carry out an initial assessment of a local IT-based clinical system for compliance with safety and security best practice.

You must complete
1 Case-based discussion(s)
1 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Critically analyse the application of information governance principles to a local clinical database or information system DOPS
Critically analyse data from a clinical audit, summarising key findings and indicating areas for future development improvement of similar audits DOPS
Advise clinical colleagues about information security related to patient information, distinguishing between identifiable, anonymised and pseudonymised data OCE

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss and justify the legislation, regulatory guidance and national and local protocols relating to the security, confidentiality and appropriate sharing of patient information.
  2. Explain the information governance implications for individuals and organisations of information sharing and communication between professions, with patients/clients and across organisations.
  3. Discuss the principles and purpose of effective quality control and validation of data, and the impact of poor-quality data on management and healthcare outcomes. Identify the range, purposes, benefits and potential risks of sharing, integrating and aggregating clinical data and information.
  4. Discuss the role of informatics in clinical governance.
  5. Describe and evaluate the purpose, structures, use and storage of health and care records.
  6. Discuss the implications of patient access to records and clinical information for interprofessional practice and multidisciplinary care.
  7. Discuss the basis and application and evaluate the limitations of the different clinical coding systems in use, and the importance of high-quality coded clinical data in communication and to patient safety.
  8. Explain the use of clinical terms in record keeping and the role of terming on reporting and analysis.
  9. Discuss the importance of ICT in supporting clinical practice and new ways of working in healthcare, drawing on examples from national and local policy strategy.
  10. Discuss the risks in clinical IT systems and mitigations.
  11. Discuss emerging information and communications technologies and their application in health and care.

Indicative Content

Information governance: data and information quality, security and confidentiality

  • Acts of Parliament, other legislation, Codes of Practice
  • Dealing with requests for information about patients/clients
  • Information commissioner
  • Paper-based versus electronic records
  • Patient identifiable data and information
  • Secondary uses of data
  • Audit and research
  • Caldicott Guardians
  • Consent
  • Smart cards/records access
  • The well-informed patient, the expert patient
  • Encryption (principles)
  • Safe havens
  • Relationship and differences between data and information
  • Qualities of good data
  • Information system risks to patient safety
  • Cost of data entry errors
  • Secure information exchange between professionals
  • Sharing and communication with patients and carers 

Uses of clinical and health data and information

  • Patient identifiable and non-patient identifiable data and information
  • Health research applications
  • Public health
  • Service planning
  • Cross-sector care
  • Patient/client-centred service,
  • Information flows between health and social care and public health, third sector and private sectors
  • Systematic approaches to improving patient care: secondary uses service (SUS); Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) and related initiatives
  • Patient-focused systems versus specialty, disease, or procedure-focused systems
  • Big Data
  • Transparency
  • Information intermediaries
  • Clinical audit
  • Information for patient choice 

Health records

  • Paper versus electronic records
  • Patient-held records
  • Structured and coded records – free text in records
  • Consent models
  • Confidentiality and security
  • Impact of patient access on professionals and relationships, behavioural issues
  • Record sharing – with patients and between professionals
  • Summary Care Record or equivalent
  • Electronic health records
  • GP/primary care records

 The language of health: clinical coding and terminology

  • Terminologies versus classifications
  • Coding systems – nature, clinical applications, limitations
  • Accident and Emergency Coding Tables
  • International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
  • NHS dictionary of medicines and devices, Office of Population Census and Surveys (OPCS) Classification of Interventions and Procedures, Read Coded Clinical Terms, Systematised Nomenclature of Medical Terms (SNOMED CT)
  • Coding quality issues and risks
  • Coding and patient-accessible information
  • Coding for management – importance of coded data for supporting business workflows and administration, e.g. Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) and Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) 

ICT systems for clinicians, patients and the public

  • eHealth, telehealth, telemedicine
  • Assistive technologies – applications, risks and issues
  • Clinical and decision support systems
  • Map of Medicine
  • National Laboratory Medicine Catalogue
  • Online guidelines and knowledge bases
  • National infrastructure, e.g. SPINE, NHW Wide Web (NWW), NHS Choices, patient portal(s)
  • e-Prescribing
  • Mobile working
  • System design, system reliability, interoperability
  • ‘Good informatics’ versus ‘bad informatics’