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Health Information Technology

Health Information Technology Course Descriptions

Note: Not all HIT courses are offered every semester, and new courses may be added at any time. Check the schedule of classes for the latest offerings.

Core Courses

HIT 658: Health Informatics I

As the first required course in the series, Health Informatics I starts with introductory topics and proceeds with an overview of the essential topics of Health IT. Consistent with the interdisciplinary nature of Health IT, the course touches people and organizational aspects of health information systems as well as technology. While covering the essentials of Health Informatics, the course also achieves depth by engaging students in a semester- long study of a particular topic in Health IT. Some of the topics covered in this course include electronic health records, practice management, health information exchange, data standards, consumer health informatics and mobile health.

HIT 759: Health Informatics II

As the second required course in the health informatics series, Health Informatics II extends the coverage of the health informatics issues into areas such as online medical resources and search engines, evidence-based medicine and clinical practice guidelines, disease management, disease registries and quality improvement, patient safety and health IT, electronic prescribing, telemedicine, and bioinformatics. Prerequisite: Health Informatics I.

HIT 663: Health IT Policy and Administration

This course provides a comprehensive overview on the policy and administration of health information technology. Students will develop an understanding of the management principles in the American healthcare delivery system, including the roles of patients, third party insurance payers, and healthcare professionals. The course will also include health care policy in the US with specific examples from Medicare, Medicaid and ongoing efforts for healthcare reform.

HIT 664: Health IT Law and Ethics

This course provides a comprehensive overview of important legal principles affecting health information technology and management, with a focus on the intersection of these legal principles with business ethics. The student will learn how to think through and process legal problems consistent with ethical norms, and how to analyze business risks in light of operative legal constructs, taking into consideration ethical issues, to arrive at a range of correct business decisions. Throughout the class the student will learn substantive legal principles including an overview of constitutional, contract, tort, corporate and regulatory law. Students will work in groups during certain exercises, role play in real and hypothetical case studies, and make a final presentation of a comprehensive legal and ethical health IT problem.

HIT 750: Data Analytics

This course covers large-scale analytics for health care. The course will start with an overview of data mining techniques including classification, clustering, association rule mining, anomaly detection, and data visualization. These techniques will be covered in the context of healthcare data such as electronic medical records. This course will address the challenges of analyzing healthcare data, and integration strategies for various data types commonly found in electronic medical records as well as genomic, environmental, and biological data that affect healthcare.

HIT 760: Health Informatics Capstone

The Capstone project provides an opportunity for students to carry out an individual piece of supervised research or a project activity on a specified topic in the Health Informatics domain. The final project should make an original contribution to the body of knowledge in the profession or otherwise demonstrate core competencies in Health IT and Informatics. Students must also have a total of 21 credits in the program to register for this course.


HIT 640: Health IT Text Processing

This course provides an introduction to programming, text processing, and biomedical knowledge extraction for the health informatics professional. Students will gain the skills necessary to implement Perl based solutions to Health IT problems and bio-medical (BMI) research challenges. This course not only teaches programming, scripting and text processing, but also provides an understanding of the broader context regarding how these programming techniques are deployed to address Health IT/BMI challenges. This course teaches the programming interface and the techniques that can be used to write scripts and applications in Perl as well as provide an understanding how Perl is used to address BMI challenges and contribute to the core competencies associated with good BMI practice. This course also covers advanced concepts and capabilities, including object-oriented features, file and network I/O, and database interfaces. Upon completion, students will be able to use Perl techniques and commands to write scripts to perform various user and administrative tasks, and to utilize advanced features of the language. Student will also be able to articulate an understanding of how Perl is used in real Health IT/BMI use cases.

HIT 722: Exploration of Clinician Information Needs

This course offers students the opportunity to learn the domain knowledge necessary to understand information needs that arise for clinicians. Students will examine research on the topic of "clinician information needs", with particular relation to needs that occur while using clinical information systems. We will also examine methodologies for identifying, and resolving, information needs.

The course will focus on emerging technology for decision support, including “infobuttons”, which are context-aware links from any application to some on-line information resource. In particular, when they are placed in electronic health records (EHRs) they are considered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to be a form of “meaningful use” of the EHR. An infobutton can be as simple as a link from a drug order entry application to a relevant drug monograph or as complex as an expert system that extracts relevant data about the patient in question, anticipates unanswered information needs and retrieves knowledge to addressing those needs.

Other forms of decision support, including knowledge resources, expert systems and alerting systems may also be explored during the course, depending on student interest. The course will involve discussion of publications on information needs and research on resolving them, as well as project work. Topics will include the history clinical decision support, history of infobuttons, infobutton managers, the HL7 infobutton standard, open access infobutton systems, the use of ontologies to leverage clinical data for information retrieval functions, and evaluation of clinical decision support.

HIT 723: Public Health Informatics

This course will cover the key components of public health practice, and include topics such as disease surveillance, outbreak, detection, investigation, vital records, and dissemination of information. The course will include data collection, data analysis, data cleaning, ways to provide data to customers, improve data quality and access to care, and develop and evaluate interventions. Students will develop an understanding of the use of IT to support public health practice, increase individual effectiveness, and improve the effectiveness of the public health enterprise.

HIT 724: Educational Technologies in Healthcare

This course is a graduate-level course which will touch upon areas of healthcare including, but not limited to education and training, health instructional technology, and healthcare IT. The expectation is for students to become familiar, if not already, with these areas and how they intersect with the broader establishments of healthcare, education and technology. The course will introduce the fundamental aspects of educational technology theory, research and practice that span various users and contexts in the healthcare setting and includes a full range of engaging exercises for students that will contribute to their professional growth. In addition, students will be able to communicate and educate other health IT professionals more effectively and efficiently.

HIT 764: Health Information Privacy & Security

This course will provide a deep understanding of the principles of health data protection, the privacy and security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The course will discuss the statutory and regulatory background and purpose of HIPAA and the principles and key provisions of the privacy rule, protected health information, uses and disclosures, compliance and enforcement. The course will also cover the state of the art on “privatizing” health data with minimal impact on data utility.

HIT 674: Process & Quality Improvement with Health IT

This course provides an overview of quality measurement and process improvement as they relate specifically to the health care industry. The course will focus on the tools, techniques, and resources available to health care professionals through effective use of health IT. Students will learn how to create quality benchmarks, gather data, and analyze results. They will learn how to design specific processes that directly address analytical findings and have the potential to improve outcomes. Students will understand a variety of implementation strategies for new processes, and be able to use health IT and other tools to measure the overall effectiveness. They will also learn how to prioritize improvement efforts across complicated business and practice systems. Students will work in groups during certain exercises, explore real and hypothetical case studies, and make a final presentation of an improvement process and implementation which utilizes health IT as their course project.

IS 610: Database Program Development

An introduction to computer databases that examines the basic functions and capabilities of database management software (DBMS). Emphasis is placed on using this software to solve information processing problems, which may include laboratory work as well as database design case studies. Topics include a discussion of data structures, host language programming; indirect and direct file organization and DBMS models, including hierarchical, network and relational. Also examined are storage devices, data administration and database administration, as well as database analysis, design and implementation. Note: May not be taken for credit in IS graduate degree programs.

ENMG 652: Management, Leadership and Communication

In this course, students learn effective management and communication skills through case study-analysis, reading, class discussion and role-playing. The course covers topics such as effective listening, setting expectations, delegation, coaching, performance, evaluations, conflict management, negotiation with senior management and managing with integrity.

HIT 751: Healthcare Databases

This graduate level course provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of creating and maintaining databases within a healthcare setting. This is a beginner¿s course and no previous programming or technical experience is required. Topics include: relational databases, normalization, data integrity, database design, data querying, and data forms/reports. The class includes applied lab and project components to provide hands-on experience with creating and maintaining databases; using Access and SQLite as our database systems. This course is intended for students interested in databases within the context of healthcare informatics, health information technology, and healthcare.

SOCY 618: SAS for the Social Sciences

This course introduces students to the basic principles of SAS, a widely used statistical software package. Students will learn data entry, data correction and validation, data analysis, combining data sets, rearranging data and macros. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

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