HITS-300: Health Data Systems & Technology

HITS-300: Health Data Systems & Technology

Course Description and Prerequisites

This course covers basic computer system architecture, file structure, and design for health care settings. Topics include system analysis, design, security, and selection for a variety of hardware environments. This course provides students with a review of computer fundamentals and the fundamentals of the electronic health record and an introduction to the information systems life cycle with software application. Security and confidentiality issues, concerns and implications in relation to the electronic health record will be addressed.

Many weeks we will focus on general understanding and defining terms of the topic at hand Monday-Wednesday. We will then look for a deeper understanding and applied knowledge of the materials through projects and written assignments in the second half of the week.

In this course student learning is reinforced through discussions, homework, quizzes, tests, and a project.

This course is intended for anyone who is involved in working with Health Information Technology: IT Managers, Systems Analysts, Office Managers etc.

HITS 220 Coding and Classification Systems and SDEV 230 Information Systems Analysis and Design are prerequisites of this course. It is strongly recommended that students have some familiarity with desktop applications such as MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint. Students will need access to these software titles to complete projects.

Student Centered Learning Outcomes

Through the use of discussions, assignments, research papers and projects students will learn to:

  1. Identify and write, clear and concise requirements.
  2. Organize and develop elements of requirements specifications.
  3. Develop a core understanding of “Meaningful Use.”
  4. Develop RFPs for EMR systems.
  5. Identify HIPAA issues associated with Health Information Technology.

Textbook(s) and Technology Requirements

Required Texts
No textbooks are required for this course.

Students should have access to and be proficient with MS Word and MS Powerpoint.

Topic Outline

This course covers basic computer system architecture, file structure, and design for health care settings. Topics include system analysis, design, security, and selection for a variety of hardware/software environments. This course provides students with a review of computer fundamentals and the fundamentals of the electronic health record and an introduction to the information systemslifecyclewithsoftware application. Security and confidentiality issues, concerns and implications in relation to the electronic health record will be addressed.
Week 1:

Computer system architecture, file structure, and design for health care settings

  • Key Concept: Are we moving in the right direction? Benefits of Electronic records.
  • Discussion: Why do we need Electronic Health Care Records? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • Assignment: Define: What are EHRs, EMRs and PHRs?
  • Discussion: What is interoperability and why does it matter? (system Architecture, file structure and design)
  • Assignment: Diagram in MS PowerPoint a patient’s EHR

Week 2:

Role of health information managers in development, management and utilization of electronic information system

  • Key Concept: Think like a Manager and not a techie!
  • Reading: CIO’s Guide to Implementing EHR
  • Discussion: What is HITECH and what’s the rush?
  • Discussion: What is the role of the Information Manager/CIO in EHR implementations?
  • Project (Individual): Create a PowerPoint presentation: why your hospital/physician Office has to attain “Meaningful Use”

Week 3:

Information systems life cycles and evolution

  • Key Concept: Barriers and consequences to adopting an EMR
  • Discussion: What is SDLC and what is the effect on selecting an EMR?
  • Discussion: How important is usability? GUI vs. Content
  • Reading: EHR Acceptance Factors in Ambulatory Care
  • Group Project: Select an EMR available on the market and complete a presentation of why a hospital or physician’s office might consider using this product.

Week 4:

Data, information, knowledge (the Dream Week!)

  • Key Concept: Interoperability leads to usability
  • Discussion: Define and discuss: RHIO, HIE, Interfacing, CPOE
  • Discussion: Why won’t they use it? Getting physicians to use the technology?
  • Reading: A Framework for Predicting EHR Adoption Attitudes
  • Paper (individual): Achieve the Goal! Write a paper that discusses in a “perfect world” what an EHR would look and act like. We will deal with reality later, if we don’t dream it we can’t build it. Dream up the world you want to live in and dream out loud for this assignment.

Week 5:

Strategic planning for information systems (Back to Reality Week!)

  • Key Concept: What does Meaningful Use really mean
  • Discussion: What type of planning needs to be considered to achieve “Meaningful Use”?
  • Discussion: Where is America compared to the rest of the world in EHR adoption? Is “Meaningful Use going to help?
  • Project (Group) your group is the “C Suite” of a hospital. Assign each person a position and chart out your organizations plan to meet the requirements of Meaningful Use from summer 2011-2015. What do you have to do to get there?

Week 6:

Request for Proposal Process

  • Key Concept: buying technology
  • Discussion: Why is an RFP important?
  • Discussion: How do we make sure a vendor’s product will meet “Meaningful Use”
  • Project Individual: write a request for proposal to be sent to three EMR/EHR vendors.

Week 7:

Security and confidentiality in EHR

  • Key concept: Is patient data safe?
  • Discussion: What is the IT Manager/CIO role in HIPPA?
  • Discussion: With interoperability, how can we be sure the data is safe?
  • Executive Summary: How did HITECH ACT raise the ante on protecting sensitive patient information?

Methods of Assessment

Your final grade will be based on the following:

Graded ElementsPercentage
Written Assignments30%
Online Discussions30%
Group Projects20%
Individual Projects20%
Total 100%
Extra Credit: Course evaluations2%
Description of Methods of Assessment
Participation in the discussion aspect of the course is an important part of success in this class. Participation in the discussion forums is a sizable portion on the final grade. In order to receive credit for participation, students need to be active and engaged in the discussions each week. Though it will vary from week to week, it is expected that each week students contribute substantively with at least one original post and respond to the posts of at least two other students. At the start of each week, new discussions will be opened and past discussions will be locked. So, points lost from prior weeks cannot be made up. Here are some suggestions for successful participation in discussions:
1. Respond to others with questions or comments that provoke elaboration.
2. Bring in resources from outside the class materials (web sites, readings in another class, professional journal articles and work experience etc.)
3. Link the comments of two people in a very explicit way, that has not been expressed by others in the discussion.
4. Demonstrate your interest with an active listening question to another.
5. Build on another’s thinking.
6. Use the course materials, including quotes from readings, as “evidence” to support your thinking.
7. Avoid unsupported opinion.
Discussion Rubric
CriteriaDescription Max. Points
FrequencyDistributes participation across 3-4 days throughout the week creating a dialogue. 20
Initial Discussion PostingPosts well-developed, timely discussions that fully address and develop all aspects of the task. 20
Follow-up PostingsDemonstrates timely analysis of others’ posts; extends meaningful discussion by building on previous posts. 20
Content ContributionsPosts factually correct, reflective and substantive contributions; advances discussion. 20
Reference & SupportUses references to literature, readings, or personal experience to support comments. 20
Total Points: 100

CodeWritten Assignment GuidelinesLow ScoreTo


High Score


Visual & Creative




TTechnical Quality & PresentationSpelling errors, poor punctuation and sentence structure. Sloppy presentation. DifficultSpelling, sentence structure and grammar are solid. Material is presented in an easy to read format. Good flow and layout.Care and attention to detail. Care to use color, careful layout, titles etc.Plans, analysis and designs are laid out neatly and in a logical sequence.
IIntegration of MaterialConcepts missed or not addressed.Material thoroughly integrated and includes outside examples. Concepts explained in your own words.Concepts are covered by virtue of the material included.Techniques and terms used that demonstrate and understanding of the concepts behind the plans, analysis and designs.
EExpression: Quality & CompletenessSentences are lacking expression and wouldn’t generate any interest on behalf of the reader.Sentences relate to each other with feeling. Thoughts are developed and in a logical sequence.Careful thought to what is included and why. Inclusive of everything that should be there.
CCreativity & Critical ThinkingReiterate text with no interpretation or self-expression. Short and hollow explanations. The safe way out.Interpret concepts and find examples that support or contradict them. Demonstrates the ability to take risk.


Class Activities:
Each week you will be assigned readings from a variety of sources, along with a lecture. It expected that you have distilled the essential points of this material during the week it is assigned. These readings and lectures also often serve as a basis for class discussion.
Weekly Assignments:
Each week you will be assigned work to help reinforce concepts from the week’s lecture and readings.
Throughout the course there will be two assigned projects to be completed independently and two that will be assigned as group projects.

All assignments (homework, projects) must be submitted on, or before, the date they are due, unless prior arrangements have been made or there are extenuating circumstances, and follow the guidelines identified below. (Note: points will be deducted for work that does not adhere to the following guidelines.)

1.All work files submitted must have a filename constructed as follows: For example, an MSWord assignment I submitted in week 2 would be named: “Week02_BenwareJ.doc”
2.The header of the file (i.e., each page of the submitted work) must have the following information: course title, course section, your name, date, and subject of paper. For example:
Course TitleHealth Data Systems and Technology
Course-SectionHIT 300 -XX
Your NameDonald Duck
The DateJan 20, 2010
The SubjectHomework – XXXXXXX
3.Each assignment is to be contained in a single MS Word file document. Font should be 12pt Times New Roman and spacing at 1.5. Projects may be in PowerPoint and/or Excel
Note: Use dictionaries and grammar checkers to confirm the spelling and intent of words you use.

Course summary: