Health Informatics

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2013
Martin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Online Course

Dr. Roe Roberts (view Profile)

Course Objectives


Course Description

This is a graduate level introductory course in health informatics that broadly covers general systems theory, biomedical imaging, analog to digital conversion of physiological signals, and the construction and principles of operation of computers as they relate to health information, data acquisition and management.

            The U.S. Health Care System, like that of most other countries of the world is under a variety of pressures for change: increasing demands for new services, increasing funding constraints, new technologies, privacy issues and increasing accountability demands. Automation and computer technology can help to reconcile interests of the patient/client, the public, government and other insurers, and institutional and individual providers of health care. Some of the issues to be addressed in this course include:

1.      data acquisition (capturing data as close to the point of care as possible);

2.      access (of timely and available information);

3.      security – HIPAA (assuring confidentiality and reliability of information);

4.      accuracy and integrity (capturing the "right" complete information for the need); 

5.      relevance (capturing "useful" information).

Adequate consideration of any of the above issues in contemporary information management systems requires an understanding of the technology used as the basis for the solution – in this case, automation and related computer and communications technology.

            The course also examines the impact of information technology on health care systems. Special attention will be given to issues such as privacy and confidentiality of information, public health and safety, and the long-term impact of information technology on society.

            To develop an appreciation of the role of data plays in decision making, time will be spent on fundamental theories and principles including: systems theory, communications theory, organization theory, and information theory.



1.      To familiarize the student with the computer technology supporting health information systems. 

2.      To present the objects, structures and processes that comprise computer-based health information systems.

3.      To examine the importance of timely, relevant data to the successful management of cost-efficient health care delivery.

4.      To review systems theory, communications theory, organization theory, and information theory as they apply to health informatics.

5.      To understand the application of HIPAA to data storage, collection and transmission.

Course Expectations


Upon successfully completing this course the students will be able to:

1.      Describe the concepts and basic operation of networks and distributed processing systems.

2.      Explain the distinctions between administrative, clinical and special purpose applications of computer technology

3.      Discuss the role of computers in health information management systems.

4.      Describe the role of data communications in health information management systems.

5.      Understand where and how data is collected and processed by information technology in health care settings.

6.      Describe the meaning and relevance of general systems theory, communications theory and information theory to the field of health informatics.

7.      Discuss the variety of ways in which information and communication technologies are applied in health care delivery and management settings.

8.      Understand the legal and ethical responsibilities of data collection and management in the health care setting.


Course Structure and Format

This course will be presented via D2L using texts, notes, and other electronic media, as well instructor and student led class discussions.  Students are expected to express opinions, ask questions, and challenge each other and the instructor in a respectful and thoughtful manner.

Writing will also be a central feature of the course. Students will be expected to write several papers dealing with an ethics issue as well as respond to discussion questions posted on D2L by the instructor.  The instructor reserves the right to assign additional readings from time-to-time.

Grading Standards




            Module Writing Assignment (MWA)                      50

                        Discussion (MD)                                             25

Exam (FE)                                                                                 25


Final Exam

12/06/2013 8:00AM-8:00PM

Submission Format Policy



Assignments must be submitted on time, no assignment will be accepted late unless permission was given prior to the due date.  Assignments that are not turned in will be given an automatic grade of zero without exception.  Requests to turn work in late must be submitted at least two days prior to the due date and will only be given in extreme circumstances as you will usually have at least two weeks in which to complete each assignment.  There are no extra credit projects in this course.




Ø  MWA :


Each module will have one MWA, the goal of the MWA is to further explore and focus on a some particular aspect of the module.  Each MWA must have a minimum of two referenced peer reviewed articles from an academic journal.  Academic journals do NOT include the textbook, magazines, newspapers, commercial or government websites. The professor will review each MWA, point out its strengths and offer suggestions for improvements within 2 weeks of its submission.


All MWAs must typed in WORD and when submitted must show as a .doc document.   If I can’t open the document it is the same as if you didn’t submit it.  They are to be submitted via the dropbox in D2L.  All MWAs must have student name; class and MWA number in the header of the word document.


The MWAs must be written using the APA style (see the APA manual or OWL for more explanation), double-spaced, and typed in Times Roman 12 Font.   Quotations should never be used, put them into your own words so that it’s obvious to the reader that you understood what you read.


Uncited and/or unnoted quotes are never acceptable and may result in an automatic grade of zero for the assignment.


During the MWA the student will often be asked to adopt the role of an administrator in a health care organization of their choosing. Each module will contain a variety of questions that will be explored during the MWA and the discussions.  


Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late work will only be accepted due to extreme circumstances and IF permission is asked for at least 3 days prior to the due date and given.  OTHERWISE a grade of zero is given without exception.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Please sign into the class at least every other day and read whatever is posted in the discussion areas, along with anything else that is posted.

Other Policies

ADA Requests

All ADA requests are honored if a letter specifying the needed accommodations is obtained from the Office of Disability Services.  Please submit your request to the MSU ADA coordinator. Students with letters from the Office of Disability Services specifying needed accommodations must contact the instructor within the first two weeks of the term.


I assume that the written work you turn in reflects your own ideas and your own words, unless you specifically attribute them to another source. Very limited amount of quotation and paraphrasing for written assignments is acceptable.  However, appropriate acknowledgement of the ideas, works, writings, or opinions that you borrow must be stated.  Academic dishonesty is not acceptable and is a breach of the student code of ethics.  Dishonesty includes, but not limited to: 1) plagiarism*, 2) submitting work that was not prepared by you (fraud), and 3) helping another student with their work when expressly prohibited (cheating).  

*Plagiarism:   Includes using direct quotes or sections of writing from other author’s (this includes follow students) without the appropriate notations and/or citations OR rewording portions of another author’s paper without appropriate citation.  All written assignments for this class will be submitted to a computer-based review to assess it for evidence of plagiarism.  Go to for more info.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at