IS415      Half Unit
eHealth: Policy, Strategy and Systems

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Anthony Cornford NAB3.29 and Dr Elzbieta Klecun-Taylor NAB3.37


This course is available on the MSc in Health, Population and Society, MSc in International Health Policy and MSc in Management, Information Systems and Innovation. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


There are no prerequisites. Students should have some appreciation of information management and systems implementation issues, and some understanding of healthcare systems. A short set of readings will be provided for students who require this background understanding.

Course content

This course explores the principal issues faced by healthcare policy makers and healthcare organizations as they plan for and implement substantial healthcare information systems and infrastructures – a field increasingly referred to as eHealth. The course considers systems oriented towards administrative and clinical activities. The course is organised as follows: A survey of the history of computer-based systems in healthcare and some comparison with other sectors. The evolution and current state of information systems in primary and secondary care with international comparisons. The goal of an electronic patient record and national information infrastructures for health. Patient-centred health care and new patient roles. Assessing the transformative potential of health information systems. Shaping strategy and policy to deliver new digital systems and support infrastructures. Issues of systems implementation. Selected application domains including electronic prescribing and medicines management, telehealth and telecare. Issues of evaluation and building of an evidence base.


15 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Seminars are based around reading and discussing selected journal articles from the course study pack. Formative feedback is provided on class participation. In addition, students complete a formative essay proposal on which written feedback is provided.

Indicative reading

Berg, M. (2004) Health Information Management: Integrating Information Technology in Health Care Work, Routledge, London. Bloomfield, B. P. (2000) Information Technology and Organisations: Strategies, Networks, and Integration, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Brennan, S. (2005) The NHS IT Project: The Biggest Computer Programme in the World...Ever, Radcliffe, Oxford. Coiera, E. (2003) Guide to Health Informatics (Second Edition), Arnold, London. Friedman, C. and J. Wyatt (1997) Evaluation Methods in Medical Informatics, Springer Verlag, New York. Lehoux, P. (2006) The problem of health technology: Policy implications for modern health care systems. Routledge, New York. Liang, L.L. (2010) Connected for Health: Using electronic health records to transform care delivery. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.Sheaff, R. and V. Peel (1995) Managing Health Service Information Systems: An Introduction, Open University Press, Buckingham. Timmermans, S. and M. Berg (2003) The Gold Standard: The Challenge of Evidence Based Medicine and the Standardization of Health Care, Temple University Press, Philadelphia. Wootton, R. (2006) An Introduction to Telemedicine. 2nd Ed., Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd, London. Taylor, P. (2006) From Patient Data to Medical Knowledge: The Principles and Practice of Health Informatics, BMJ Books, London.


Essay (85%, 5000 words) in April.
Class participation (15%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Information Systems and Innovation Group

Total students 2012/13: 28

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills