Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

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Health Informatics

Where health and information
technology intersect.

Learn more today!

HTH 120 - Foundations of Health Informatics- Fall 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:
Gurprit Randhawa
Course Dates:
11/29/2021 - 02/13/2022

Required Course Materials:
Health Informatics: Practical Guide for Healthcare and InformationTechnology Professionals (6th edition), Author(s):Hoyt, Robert
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:

Building on the foundations of health information management, this course provides an overview of the principles and practices of health informatics for the Canadian healthcare system. A comprehensive introduction to information systems, applications, data collection, decision support, privacy, security, ethical and legal aspects for the field will follow a history of the health informatics field. The course demonstrates the impact of health informatics within the components of the healthcare system such as ehealth, telehealth, research and others. The course design is to present the foundational concepts to be explored further in remaining courses.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will:

LO1: identify the principle concepts and theories in the functional areas of health informatics.

LO2: integrate legal and ethical principles in health informatics into responsible leadership decisions.

LO3: analyze and interpret data to formulate health care decisions.

LO4: explain in the context of planning and decision making the dimensions of health informatics.

LO5: analyze the impacts of new developments in the field of health informatics.

LO6: identify the impacts of privacy, confidentiality, and security in health care.

LO7: apply ethical standards and guidelines as identified by professional associations and the field of work.

LO8: integrate project management principles for individual and group work activities.

L09: demonstrate effective communication practices (verbal and written) for course activities.


Course Evaluation
The final grade is calculated based on the following components:
Weekly Quizzes: 35%
Learning Activity Discussion Forum Posts: 10%
Discussion Forum Participation: 5%
Google Trends Assignment: 15%
Ethical Dilemma Assignment: 20%
Disease Registry Assignment: 15%
Course Format:


This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in health informatics 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.  There are no extensions for assignments due on the last day of the course. 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 by the 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 hours of 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 the case 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:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.

  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.

  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services(SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or  to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous or Spiritual Observances (RISO)
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students will need to contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and other coursework. and tests. It is the student’s responsibility to contact McMaster Continuing Education to discuss accommodations related to examinations. (if applicable)
On-line Elements:

Conduct Expectations:
As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the “Code”). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in-person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students’ access to these platforms.

Copyright and Recording:
Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students who wish to record sessions need to acquire permission from the instructor. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

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.

Extreme Circumstances:
The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.

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 (

Storm Closure Policy:

In the event of inclement weather, the Centre for Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the University is closed.  All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if the Centre for Continuing Education is closed.  On-line courses will take place as scheduled.

Grading Scale:


Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages








































Course Schedule:

Module /Week


Module 1: Course Introduction; Overview of Health Informatics

· Assignment: Module 1 Quiz

· Discussion

Module 2: Healthcare Data, Information, Knowledge, and


· Assignment: Module 2 Quiz

· Discussion

Module 3: Information Retrieval and Evidence Based Practice

· Assignment: Module 3 Quiz

· Assignment: Learning Activity Discussion Forum

Module 4: Data Analytics and Research

· Assignment: Module 4 Quiz

· Assignment: Learning Activity Discussion Forum

· Assignment: Google Trends

Holiday Break

The course site will remain open during this time.

McMaster University is closed December 25th - January 1st; there is no A2L tech support during this time. All offices reopen January 2nd.

CCE will close Friday, December 21st  at noon.

Module 5: Ethics, Privacy and Security

· Assignment: Module 5 Quiz


Module 6: Electronic Health Records and Health Information


· Assignment: Module 6 Quiz

· Assignment: Ethical Dilemma

Module 7: Public Health Informatics and Disease Registries

· Assignment: Module 7 Quiz


Module 8: Quality Assurance, Patient Safety and HIT

· Assignment: Module 8 Quiz

· Assignment: Disease Registry

Module 9: Mobile and Consumer Informatics; Telemedicine




· Assignment: Module 9 Quiz


Module 10: Medical Imaging Informatics

· Assignment: Module 10 Quiz