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Distance Learning Class

Introduction to Health Informatics

Health informatics is the intersection of information technology, computer science and health care. In this introductory course, gain broad exposure to the field of health informatics with an emphasis on its application to clinical settings. Explore the array of informatics sub-specialties, examples of different clinical applications (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory, public health), and the role of the health informaticist in bridging clinical care and information technology. Learn the core concepts and technologies, including terminologies, data standards, development approaches/strategies, data security and privacy. Finally, consider the policy context of health information technology, the potential benefits and perspectives on future directions.


Recommended Prerequisite: For students without a strong clinical and/or health background, we recommend completing an introductory course on the US Healthcare system. This type of course is readily available online and at many community colleges. There are also open courseware options if you wish to peruse lectures notes on healthcare related topics (see, in particular,


Mark Carroll, M.P.H., , a public health informaticist, is the assistant director of the UC Davis Health Informatics Graduate Program and a senior lecturer with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He works on the national efforts to establish nursing informatics curriculum and is developing the implementation of clinical experiences (virtual and live) into health informatics curriculum. Carroll also researches mobile communicable diseases applications.
Travis Nagler, M.S., works as a research informaticist for UC Davis and is the research data manager for the Biomedical Informatics program in UC Davis' Clinical and Translational Science Center. His work focuses on proper data management practices, EMR data retrieval and cohort discovery of research study patient populations. He is interested in the interoperability of research informatics software for the improvement of data accessibility for research purposes and the education of researchers on how to use those tools successfully.


Course begins June 30, 2014 and ends September 12, 2014. Enrollments accepted through June 25, 2014.


You must provide your email address when enrolling to receive your password. Please set up your email account to receive email from ""; otherwise, the email containing your password may not reach your inbox. You will receive your password via email on the start date, or within two business days of enrolling if you enroll after the start date. From the day you receive your password, you will have until the completion date noted above to complete the course. If you do not receive your password in the time frame noted, please visit the Online Learning Campus Support Center at Open a new ticket, and select "Password Issues" from the Help Topics. This is not a self-paced course. Students will progress through the course together. Lessons will be posted one week at a time. The previous week's lesson will remain available for the duration of the course. Students who enroll after the start date of the course will have to contact the instructor regarding missed lessons.

Technical requirements:

A stable Internet connection and a current email account. Most online courses also require the ability to view PDF documents and Flash-based presentations, and speakers or headphones to hear audio presentation. If you plan to access an online course using an iPad, iPod or an iPhone there are a variety of Flash web browsers available in the App Store that can enable your iPad/iPod/iPhone to view Flash content. More info.



Special Discounts:

10% discount for organizations enrolling three or more people at the same time in the same course. All registrations must be submitted at the same time and fees paid with one check, credit card or purchase order.


4 quarter units academic credit, X420.22, 40 BRN Hours

Required textbooks:

Course Pack/Reader. Will be available from University Readers at Enrolled students will receive ordering details once it is available.




Enrollment policies:

Refund or transfer requests will be approved, less a $30 processing fee, if a written request is received within two weeks of your start date and if you have not gone beyond Lesson One. Please visit the OLC Support Center at by clicking on the support button in the upper right corner of the website, open a new ticket, then select Course Withdrawal/Transfer Request from the Help Topics. You will need to include your name, the course title and the course section number.




"I got a great overview of all the topics in Health Informatics and am now really excited to continue learning more. I had no idea about the breadth of this field - and I especially liked the lectures from different speakers."

Jodi Nygaard, IT Analyst, UC Davis Health System

Earn a Certificate

This course is part of these certificate programs:

Health Informatics