IS416      Half Unit
eHealth: Policy, Strategy and Systems (modular)

This information is for the 2013/14 session.


This course is available on the MSc in Health Economics, Policy and Management. This course is not available as an outside option.


Students should have an appreciation of information management and systems development and implementation issues, and some understanding of healthcare systems. Selected readings will be provided for students who require this background understanding as part of the pre-sessional reading programme.

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. The course considers systems oriented towards both 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 electronic patient record and national information infrastructures for health. The development of healthcare policies for systems and infrastructures. Assessing the transformative potential of health information systems. Issues of systems implementation. Selected application domains including electronic prescribing and medicines management, telehealth and telecare, new patient roles. Issues of evaluation and building of an evidence base.


6 hours of lectures, 12 hours of seminars and 3 hours of workshops in the LT.

3 two- hour lectures, 6 two-hour seminars and 2 one and a half hour project essay workshops during a modular study week.

Formative coursework

Seminars are based around reading and discussing selected journal articles from the pre-sessional reading materials. Formative feedback is provided on class participation. In addition, students will complete a formative writing assignment on which written feedback will be provided.

Indicative reading

Taylor, P. (2006) From Patient Data to Medical Knowledge: The Principles and Practice of Health Informatics, BMJ Books, London.
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.
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.


Essay (100%, 5000 words).

One 5,000 word individual essay on an approved topic (100%). This is the same course as IS415 but it has different teaching and assessment arrangements.

Key facts

Department: Information Systems and Innovation Group

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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