• Introduction

     


    Health informatics, defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is "the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption, and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management, and planning". The purpose of this course is to focus on Low- to Middle-Income Countries, in order to consider how informatics can be used to help tackle some of the health problems facing populations.

    The course has been informed by discussions through HIFA whose vision is "A world where every person and every health worker will have access to the healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of those for whom they are responsible." (Note: you can access or join HIFA for more information).

    Pang et al identified a grand challenge for global public health: "to ensure that everyone in the world can have access to clean, clear, knowledge — a basic human right, and a public health need as important as access to clean, clear, water, and much more easily achievable". They go on to say: "Patients or consumers, healthcare professionals, and policymakers/managers who make up the health system must be better served by knowledge from various sources. If this is achieved, progress can be made in overcoming the seven ubiquitous health-care problems: errors and mistakes, poor quality health care, waste, unknowing variations in policy and practice, poor experience by patients, overenthusiastic adoption of interventions of low value, and failure to get new evidence into practice."

    The development of the internet and its global spread provides the opportunity to increase access to knowledge, hence the field of health informatics. This course aims to provide a framework and some resources to help those in low resource settings meet knowledge needs.

    Based on a review of current literature, we have structured this course in accordance with the 'Information cycle' (Note: Informatics = Information + Information Technology)

    There are resources other than those we include in the sections below which you might want to explore, such as a set of free courses Health Information Systems to Improve Quality of Care in Resource-Poor Settings from MIT.

    Navigating the course.

    We have provided summaries of, and links to, a number of resources we think you will find interesting - to access them, click on the Resources in each section, and then on the blue 'hyperlinks within each set of resources. There is also a forum in each section for reflection - you can post your reflections there if you wish.

    The course was developed by Professor Richard Heller.

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  • Global Health Informatics Home Page


     


    Introduction

    Health informatics, defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is "the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption, and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management, and planning." The purpose of this course is to focus on Low- to Middle-Income Countries, in order to consider how informatics can be used to help tackle some of the health problems facing populations.


    This course has been informed by discussions through HIFA whose vision is "A world where every person and every health worker will have access to the healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of those for whom they are responsible." 


    The development of the internet and its global spread provides the opportunity to increase access to knowledge, hence the field of health informatics. This course aims to provide a framework and some resources to help those in low resource settings meet knowledge needs.


    The course is designed to help you: 

    1. Reflect and appreciate the scope of global health informatics.
    2. Understand the ways in which Information Technology can be used to assist in the production, collection and collation of information.
    3. Understand the ways in which Information Technology can be made available to assist policymakers, clinicians and citizens in accessing information.
    4. Identify potential uses of health informatics in both the clinical and public health areas in your setting.
    5. Appreciate the importance of evaluating health informatics programmes, and the value of some of the evaluations that have been performed to date.


    This course is an Open Online Course (OOC) that was developed by Professor Richard Heller. It has been adopted from Peoples-uni and was further developed by NextGenU.org (NGU). It was sponsored in part by the Annenberg Physician Training Program (APTP).


    There are five (5) modules to complete, which include:

    Module 1: What Is Information/Informatics and Why Is It Important?
    Module 2: Produce, Collect and Collate Information
    Module 3: Access Information - Make It Available
    Module 4: Use Information for Evidence-Based Practice and Policy
    Module 5: Evaluating the Benefits of Health Informatics

    Approximate time for completion of this course is 5 hours at an average reading rate of 144 words/minute.

    Engaging with this course


    • To register for this course, complete the registration form. Begin the course with Module 1. For each lesson, read the description. 
    • Each lesson comprises introductory remarks. You can click on the collections of resources in each module. 
    • There is a forum on each Module for reflection, and you will be able to add a new topic or respond to a previous one. You may want to share your learning from this and other readings, comment on the topics from your own experience, comment on others' posts, or provide feedback on how we can improve the content and/or presentation.
    • There is a final quiz to assess your understanding of some important concepts. Click on the hyperlinks to take you to these items in each topic.

    Requirements to obtain the certificate 

    You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment. There are no requirements.


    To obtain a certificate, a learner must successfully complete:

    • All reading requirements
    • All discussion forums
    • The final exam with a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 3 attempts and
    • The self and course evaluation forms

  • Module 1: What Is Information/Informatics and Why Is It Important?

    Learning Outcome: After reading the resources in this section and reflecting on them, you should be able to appreciate the scope of global health informatics.

    The resources below focus on the definition and scope of health informatics, and how it relates to Public Health.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 2: Produce, Collect and Collate Information

    Learning Outcome: After reading the resources in this section and reflecting on them, you should be able to understand the ways in which Information Technology can be used to assist in the production, collection and collation of information.

    The resources below focus on Health Information Systems, which can operate at the clinical, population or administrative level. They also cover the newer aspects of Big Data and 'Infodemiology' where epidemiological data are derived from electronic media. 

    2 Pages, 1 Forum
  • Module 3: Access Information - Make It Available

    Learning Outcome: After reading the resources in this section and reflecting on them, you should understand the ways in which Information Technology can be made available to assist policymakers, clinicians and citizens in accessing information.

    The resources below focus on examples of how Health Informatics works to improve access to information at various levels and might contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 4: Use Information for Evidence-based Practice and Policy

    Learning Outcome: After reading the resources in this section and reflecting on them, you should be able to identify potential uses of health informatics in both the clinical and public health areas in your setting.

    The resources below focus on the ways in which informatics has been shown to help with the provision of evidence-based clinical diagnosis, care and prevention, as well as in Public Health surveillance and interventions.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Module 5: Evaluating the Benefits of Health Informatics

    Learning Outcome: After reading the resources in this section and reflecting on them, you should be able to appreciate the importance of evaluating health informatics programmes, and the value of some of the evaluations that have been performed to date.

    The focus of the resources below is to provide links to various evaluations of the role of health informatics - how we need to learn how to maximize the potential of this field through careful evaluation.

    1 Page, 1 Forum
  • Final Exam

  • Course and Self Evaluation & Certificate

    In this section, you can provide feedback about this course to help us make NextGenU.org better. Once evaluations are completed, you will be able to download your Certificate of Completion.
    Click here to give your feedback.
  • Reserve Resources

    Not available

    .http://ojphi.org/ojs/index.php/ojphi/article/view/5931/4760 systems that improve communication between institutions, assist in ordering and managing medications and help monitor and detect patients who might abandon care, show promise. Evaluations of personal digital assistants and mobile devices convincingly demonstrate that such devices can be very effective in improving data collection time and quality. From HEALTH AFFAIRS 29, NO. 2 (2010): 244251. E-Health Technologies Show Promise In Developing Countries.