Masters of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics Curriculum

ACI 6110: Introduction to Clinical Informatics

This course provides healthcare professionals with a basic and practical understanding of fundamental concepts in clinical informatics. Topics covered in the course include a history of biomedical informatics, review health information systems, clinical decision support, quality improvement, consumer health, human-system interactions, and others. Completion of this course will lay the groundwork for subsequent deep study of many of the individual topics covered.  Y1 Fall, 3 credits.


ACI 6111: Foundations of Health Information Technology

This course will provide a strong foundation for understanding the current state and key topics in health information technology. Students will begin with a review of computer programs and systems, and then build on top of this framework detailed information on the structure of health care data and the architecture of supporting systems. Data exchange, interoperability and data networks will be covered, along with key concepts for data security and privacy. Students will utilize multiple modalities of digital learning, and will participate in projects at different points during the course. Health information technology skills and knowledge will be assessed incrementally throughout the course.  Y1 Fall, 3 credits.


ACI 6112: The Health System

This introductory course provides a broad overview of actors & organizations comprising our health care systems as well as the the societal and organizational trends facing consumers, clinicians, executives, and policy-makers. It will provide an overview of some of the major characteristics of the American health care system that in turn drive health care delivery and clinical informatics priorities. Topics will include a historical overview of the American Health Care system, health care economics and financing, current regulatory issues, and other factors both influencing current informatics initiatives and suggesting future opportunities for innovative informatics solutions. Y1 Fall, 3 credits.


ACI 6120: Clinical Decision Support and Evidence-Based Patient Care

This course will focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of clinical decision support features of clinical information systems.   Topics to be addressed include cognitive aspects of human decision making, decision science, knowledge management, workflow, evidence-based patient care, and facilitated information retrieval.  Many existing CDS examples will be reviewed and evaluated and students will be expected to design a novel CDS as part of their final project.  Y1 Spring, 3 credits.


ACI 6121: Clinical Information Systems and Applications

The digitization of healthcare data and delivery of care functionality has been occurring on the small scale for nearly 50 years in clinical information systems. Clinical information systems are comprised of multiple components that comprise clinical information. Beginning in the 1990’s, electronic health record (EHR) systems began to emerge as a foundational tool for clinical information systems that brought together various aspects of healthcare such as billing, documentation, and order entry. By the mid-2000’s the basic underpinnings of a comprehensive EHR were understood, but uptake was still very low. This situation changed fundamentally over the past decade and EHRs and related clinical information systems are now ubiquitous. The goal of this course is to provide a framework to understand the underpinnings of modern clinical information systems and the integration of these systems that enable their basic and extended functionalities. Furthermore, with healthcare consumers having more opportunities to be involved with their health information, we will explore the evolution of consumer informatics. Finally, we will discuss emerging trends in the digitization of healthcare data including mobile health and telemedicine.  Y1 Spring, 3 credits.


ACI 6122: Workflow, User-Centered Design, and Implementation

The course will cover three main topic areas: workflow, user-centered design, and implementation. Each topic area will include three course segments: principles, methods, and applications. In the principles section for each topic, the course will clearly define terminology related to the topic area (e.g., What is workflow?), review how key concepts relate to each other (e.g., relationship between human factors engineering and human-computer interaction), and examine the relevance of the topic area in Applied Clinical Informatics. The methodology section for each topic will address qualitative, quantitative, and computational methods used for the design, implementation, and evaluation of health information technology. The applications section for each topic will use case studies based in the topic area to examine the real world application of principles and methods. The course will cover a wide range of contexts, from homes/communities to organizations to a broader regional scale.  Y1 Spring, 3 credits.


ACI 6130: Data to Knowledge (Clinical Data Standards)

This course introduces students to fundamental principles about terminologies and data standards and their importance in interoperability and health information exchange. It will focus on clinical data standards with respect to syntactic and semantic interoperability by covering data exchange and messaging standards (e.g., HL7), clinical terminology standards (e,g., SNOMED), document standards (e.g., HL7 CDA). Y1 Summer, 2 credits.


ACI 6131: Clinical Information System Lifecycle

This course will cover all aspects of designing, implementing and supporting systems. The course will be taught with reference to both the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) frameworks. Areas covered will include project conceptualization, methods for requirements gathering, risk analysis and mitigation, total cost of ownership, and implementation and support. Planning and management of disaster recovery and business continuity will also be covered, as well as methods of evaluating effectiveness and return on investment.  Y1 Summer, 2 credits.


ACI 6132: Management and Organizational Change

This course will focus on the management skills needed to direct the informatics activities of large organizations, and to lead changes in technology that may be disruptive.  As part of the course curriculum, students will learn leadership models, processes, and practices, effective interdisciplinary communication and team formation, project management, and strategic and financial planning for new clinical information systems.  Y1 Summer, 2 credits.


Practicum Experience

Students will rotate through health IT operational teams based on their interests and team availability.  As part of being embedded in an IT operation, students will be expected to complete limited assignments to advance the team agenda.  Y1 & Y2, 1 credit/term.


Capstone Project Planning

Students will begin the process of planning for their second year Capstone project beginning with a faculty mentor selection, needs assessment and design phase leading up to a formal project proposal and submission of development specifications at the conclusion of the second semester.  Project plans will be formally evaluated and will require approval prior to proceeding to implementation and evaluation. Y1 Fall & Spring, 1 credit/term.


Capstone Project Implementation and Evaluations

Based on an approved project plan from the first year, students will implement and evaluate a Capstone project in conjunction with a clinical informatics operations team at their home institution. The Capstone Project is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills required to design and conduct applied research studies to evaluate the efficacy of informatics applications in the clinical environment. Based on personal career objectives and informatics challenges that they identify in practicum course, the capstone project will have the flexibility to be completed as a group or individually.  Each student will have a faculty mentor and, if applicable, a practice mentor within the student’s home department/organization.  Y2 Fall & Spring, 3 credits/term.