UCL Institute of Health Informatics


Health Analysis Principles

This module is an introduction to being a health analyst. It covers keys ideas around the analyst role, data visualisation and operational research as applied to healthcare. Students learn about a variety of mathematical techniques used to improve the efficiency, productivity and quality of healthcare processes and systems. Students will be introduced to visualisation and mathematical techniques for analysing and evaluating the performance of organisations, including predicting demand, planning capacity and monitoring patient flow.

Students undertake a number of different activities including mapping processes and modelling flow through an A&E department and suggesting process improvements to increase efficiency. 

Module code


UCL credits


Course Length

9 Weeks

Face to Face Dates

23rd to 25th October 2019

Assessment Dates

25th November 2019

Module organiser

Dr Henry Potts. Please direct queries to courses-IHI@ucl.ac.uk


The module introduces students to the work of the health analyst and to a range of mathematical and graphical techniques used to assess healthcare organisations and enable improvements. This includes approaches to the analysis of variability designed to identify outliers or opportunities for process improvements. Students learn how measures of demand and capacity can be used to optimise service, e.g. by minimising waiting times. Students study how analyses of the flows in a system can be used to identify inefficiencies

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered using a mix of distance learning and face to face tuition over nine weeks. This method of delivery is used for other modules in this Institute and quality standards will be ensured through the same processes of peer review, audit and evaluation.

Distance learning will be delivered via Moodle and will consist of bespoke reading materials, multimedia content and interactive tasks, including formative assessments and online discussions. Two seminars will held on campus and streamed over the Internet.

Face to face teaching will be in the form of three days on campus, probably in week 3 or 4 and will include an element of traditional lectures from IHI staff and active researchers and class exercises.


Students complete two key formative assessments. One is an outline of a piece of operational research outlining a measure of clinical performance or of patient experience or outcome and the data that could be used to derive this measure, with details of how it could be obtained and used to assess improvement. One is the design of a simulation that could be used to test the impact of an intervention on a suitable metric