HLTHINFO 725 : The New Zealand Health Data Landscape

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester Two (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An overview of key issues to support the appropriate and effective use of large volumes of routinely collected data to drive improvements in the delivery of health care. Ethical and equitable use of health data, critical evaluation of health data, identification of analytic methods and appropriate interpretation to support health care decision-making are discussed. Specific datasets are not analysed.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Dr. Vanessa Selak | Course Director
Vanessa is a public health physician and academic with the Section of Epidemiology & Biostatistics. Vanessa has 20 years' experience working within the health spector, predominatly at Waitemata District Health Board, in roles spanning clinical medicine, planning & funding, and quality improvement. Vanessa's research is focused on using routinely collected electronic health data to support improvements in the quality of healthcare delivery and equity of health outcomes, with a focus on cardiovascular disease.
Dr Katrina Poppe | Co teaching staff
Katrina is the Director of the VIEW Data Ecosystem and analytical practice at the Section of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and the Heart Foundation Hynds Senior Fellow. The theme of her research is around improving the accuracy of cardiovascular risk assessment and management at the level of the individual. Standard risk assessment is well established (at least in some countries), but larger steps need to be made towards more personalised risk estimation. Katrina has a background in clinical cardiac physiology and in medical statistics, and her research bridges cardiovascular medicine, advanced clinical technology, data science, applied statistics and epidemiology, with applications ranging from public health to advanced cardiology. There is enormous potential for further development of this combined approach to cardiovascular research.

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate how the use of routinely collected data from health and other sectors can cause harm (Capability 2.2 and 6.1)
  2. Identify opportunities for routinely collected data to be used to support a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi, a reduction in health inequities and an increase in population health gain (Capability 1.1, 2.2, 3.1, 5.1 and 6.1)
  3. Critically evaluate strengths and limitations in the quality of routinely collected New Zealand health data to optimise the integrity of decision-making based on these data (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 3.1 and 5.1)
  4. Develop appropriate questions to support robust health care decision-making in the context of available data and information (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 3.1, 5.1 and 6.2)
  5. Interpret findings as appropriate to health care decision-making questions (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 3.1 and 5.2)
  6. Communicate findings to a range of audiences using written and oral media (Capability 4.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes 10% Individual Coursework
Assignments 90% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

Delivery Mode


The course may include live online events including group discussions and these will be recorded.
Attendance on campus is not required for the quizzes (no exam). 
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement.
This course runs to the University semester/quarter timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

The course is divided into online modules, each with a series of supporting resources, including lectures, readings from national international literature and websites. All materials are accessed via the Web. Course readings are available via the University Library's web site.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.