HLTHINFO 728 : Principles of Health Informatics

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The study of information technology and information management concepts relevant to the delivery of high quality and cost-effective healthcare. Theoretical frameworks such as data management, decision support, strategic planning and implementation, change management, knowledge management and privacy and other ethical aspects of health informatics are included.

Course Overview

In this course we examine the underlying principles, theory and practice that influence the planning, development, delivery and evaluation of information and technology in healthcare. The course materials are all online. 

We cover the following material:
  • Definition and nature of health informatics, and the role of digital health in improving health outcomes 
  • The ethics of health informatics, e.g. privacy and security
  • Relevance of health informatics and digital health to the delivery of healthcare in New Zealand and globally, including strategic imperatives, governance, implementation and evaluation, and how health informatics is applied in other countries
  • Exploration of the role of information and technology in healthcare delivery. 

Course Requirements

Restriction: POPLHLTH 728

Course Contacts

Course director Dr Karen Day, k.day@auckland.ac.nz, Phone or text on 0278201125

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 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and critically evaluate the value of digital technologies and information systems for the transformation of health care. (Capability 1.1, 4.2 and 6.1)
  2. Describe and discuss the role of digital technologies and information in clinical care, and present the case for developing, using and refining the Electronic Health Record (Capability 1.1, 3.1 and 6.2)
  3. Critically analyse challenges and issues associated with the strategic planning, implementation and evaluation of emerging technologies (Capability 2.2, 3.1 and 4.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 35% Individual Coursework
Essay 25% Group Coursework
Test 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3

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.

Each week's 10 hours should consist of

  • Listening to recorded lectures/interviews/discussions/other resources 
  • Reading at least the required readings that have been listed. Reading widely will improve your learning experience and your assignment performance, so find extra readings that interest you and share them online with others in the course
  • Organising and preparing for your assignments. The sooner you start the assignment preparation the better
  • Allocate some time each week for the online discussion.  

Delivery Mode


Attendance is expected at the two course seminars to complete components of the course.
The course will include live online events including group discussions and tutorials and these will be recorded.
Attendance on campus is not required for the assessments.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement and some materials will be released progressively throughout the course in response to external events and news.
This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

This course is delivered in online, or distance, mode. Course materials are made available in the course website located in the University’s learning platform CANVAS which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

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.

The class of 2020 found the course stimulating and up to date with the current digital health landscape. While some enjoyed the online discussions first-time users of Piazza found it difficult to find, follow and respond to discussion threads. The pandemic challenges affected their organisational abilities. They suggest that tutorials and real-time live discussions aligned to the assignments be added to the course schedule, which has been done. 

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.

All assignments should be submitted via Canvas, and will be automatically submitted via Turnitin. If you have any questions about plagiarism or the risk of plagiarism, please get in touch with your course director. 

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.