UCL Institute of Health Informatics


Essentials of Informatics for Healthcare Systems

This module provides a foundation for understanding health informatics in the wider health landscape and how it impacts on the delivery of healthcare. Students will gain an understanding of the concepts and skills required to deliver policy and strategy for high quality care, and an insight into organisational aspects affecting the use and application of health informatics. Students will also be introduced to the importance of information governance and the key policies and requirements when working in the health sector. 

Module code


UCL credits


Course Length:

9 Weeks


Wk 5: 04 – 06 November 2020

Assessment Dates:

Assignment deadline: 03 December 2020

Module organisers

Prof Paul Taylor, Prof George Moulton, Prof Tjeerd Van Staa, Dr Nathan Lea Please direct queries to courses-IHI@ucl.ac.uk


  • The Health Informatics Landscape
  • Developing a local informatics strategy
  • Modelling systems: dataflow diagrams
  • Modelling systems: entity relationship diagrams
  • Evaluation
  • Information Governance and Consent
  • Procurement and options appraisal

Teaching and learning methods

Blended learning: web-based distance learning in the UCL Virtual Learning Environment plus a 3-day face-to-face teaching session.


Students complete a written examination (2 hours).

Selected reading list

Coiera E. Guide to Health Informatics. Arnold 2015

This is the most recent edition of a really good textbook in the field

Taylor P. From Patient Data to Medical Knowledge. BMJ Books 2006

This is a little dated now but covers some relevant material

Wachter R. Using information technology to improve the NHS   

This is a really good, readable review that shaped NHS thinking

Wachter R. Digital Doctor. Macgraw Hill 2016

This is aimed at the general reader but is a good account of issues in the computerisation of health, mainly focussed on the US