Introduction to Health Information Systems


Registration in
HAD5724H – Quantitative Methods for Health Services Management and Policy AND
HAD5711H – Theory and Practice of Strategic Planning and Management in Health Services Organizations (see below) Information forms a common base for all aspects of health care. Thus, the material in this course complements that in the other Block 1 courses.This is demonstrated in a joint assignment:

  • A group project entitled “Improving the Coordination of Health Care Delivery for Specific Needs,” which is a joint assignment for HAD5713H and HAD5711H


In health care, information is a resource equal in importance to financial and human resources. Epidemiology offers valuable methods for compiling and analyzing data that is crucial for managing health care programs, organizations and systems. Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of diseases and injuries in populations. Managerial epidemiology, which is the focus of this course, is the application of epidemiological perspectives and methods to health care management.Although health care managers are developers, collectors, transformers, users and disseminators of information, there has been relatively little discussion about how they can enhance their selection and use of information. Many managers feel overwhelmed by massive amounts of data, much of which provides little assistance in meeting the demands of their jobs. This dilemma becomes more pronounced as provinces attempt to increase the coordination and integration of delivery systems necessitating the coordination and integration of information from a variety of sources within institutions and the community.The purpose of this course is to explore how managers can identify what they need to know, how they can access the information they need, and how they can use the information they obtain in order to be more effective decision makers. These issues will be examined in relation to the internal processes of individual organizations, the identification and accommodation of population health service needs, and the formulation of provincial and national health policy.

Learner Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify relevant health and socio-economic information sources to construct specific community and/or population profiles
  • Describe the relationship between social and environmental characteristics and health needs; how they impact health outcomes; and how this knowledge can be used to inform management and policy decision-making
  • Judge the accessibility, quality, uses and limitations of available health information in supporting effective and efficient management of health care organizations and related government agencies
  • Develop a needs assessment for a specific population and geographic area to identify opportunities for and obstacles to the provision of health services
  • Establish performance criteria for new health or social services programs that impact health outcomes for a specific population
  • Recognize the implications of transmissible diseases and environmental risks for population health planning and decision making using epidemiological methods and tools
  • Explain and interpret epidemiological analysis applied to decision making
  • Display confidence in using health related methods and data for decision making
  • Present and defend the creation of a new cross-health sector enterprise
  • Demonstrate the ability to work in a team environment and hold others accountable for their performance

Learner Competencies

(Competencies refer to the National Centre for Healthcare Leadership Competency Model)

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Communication Skills
  • Community Orientation
  • Information Seeking
  • Initiative
  • Innovative Thinking
  • Performance Measurement
  • Self-confidence





Introduction to Health Information Systems