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Health Informatics

Where health and information
technology intersect.

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HTH 103 - Professionalism, Ethics and Professional Standards- Spring 2021

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
36 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
HTH 101
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Karen Pietrangelo
Course Dates:
06/14/2021 - 08/15/2021

Required Course Materials:
Fundamentals Of Health Information Management (2nd Edition)
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
This course will present the professional, ethical and legal standards expected of the Health Information Manager and Health Informatics professional.  Learners will understand the guidelines and codes of conduct established by the professional associations for each field (CHIMA, Digital Health Canada). A review of provincial, national and international HIM and HI organizations and their professional standards and code of ethics will be conducted to demonstrate the inter-related nature of the professional expectations for Health Information Managers and Health Informaticians.Course activities will encourage students to investigate the parameters of their legal and ethical duties as HIM and HI professionals, as they work collaboratively, to understand the importance of ethics and professional standards for the protection of personal health information.
Learning Outcomes:
•Understand the scope and professional guidelines applicable to the HIM and HI professional
•Distinguish between the provincial, national and international  organizations and/or governing bodies responsible for HIM and HI professional ethics and professional standards
•Explain the history, purpose and impact of the establishment, adherence and education of HIM and HI professional ethics and standards
•Identify the principles of research design and methodology
•Understand and explain the principles and steps involved in research ethics and their role as HI and HIM professionals in the research process
•Apply effective communication skills in a variety of formats
Course Evaluation
The final grade is calculated based on the following components:
Assignment One - Job Search Posting:15%
Assignment Two - Code of Ethics:  15%
Group Assignment - Case File:  40%
Group Participation:  5%
Weekly Case Studies: 25%
Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in ethics and professionalism and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).
Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied.Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below) and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request. 

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or bythe date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hoursof the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in thecase of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in-group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation of this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to McMaster Academic Integrity Policy.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (
Grading Scale:


Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages








































Course Schedule:

Module / Week


Module One: Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) and the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM)


Discussion: Welcome Forum

Module Two: Role of the HIM Profession within the Canadian Healthcare System

Case Study #1 Discussion

Module Three: Introduction to Ethics and the CHIMA Ethical Framework

Case Study #1 Write Up (as assigned)

Assignment: Job Posting Search

Module Four: CHIMA Code of Ethics


Case Study #2 Discussion


Module Five: Ethics and Professionalism for Health Informatics Professionals

Case Study #2 Write Up (as assigned)

Module Six: HIM/HI Professional as Consumer Advocate


Case Study #3 Discussion

Assignment: Codes of Ethics

Module Seven: Module Seven – Patient Safety and Quality of Care


Case Study #3 Write Up (as assigned)

Module Eight: Whistleblowing, Research

Case Study #4 Discussion

Group Assignment: Ethics/professional Standard Case File

Module Nine: Research and Research Ethics Boards


Case Study #4 Write Up (as assigned)