Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 9 Hours.
Seminars / Tutorials 6 Hours. Seminar.
Practical 3 Hours.
Seminars / Tutorials 7 Hours.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment   2 x pieces of coursework 50% each  100%

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module you should be able to :

. describe the social, political and economic contexts which effect the provision and use of health information;
. indicate the information needs of health professsionals and the consumers of health services;
. specify the kinds of sources and services which health information units and libraries should provide.


The module explains those approaches and techniques needed so that the right information is made available to the right people at the right time. An information professional working in the health sector must first understand how health care provision works, because this will shape the inforamtion needs of those needing information. The information needs of doctors, nurses, health managers, patients and others must be understood so that appropraite databases and other services can be provided through a range of information and library services.

To accomplish these aims the syllabus covers:
The contexts of health information
political, economic and social issues ; structure of health care systems; the UK National Health Service

Information Needs
the needs of medical, nursing and health management groups; members of the public who seek consumer health inforamtion

Major inforamtion sources and services
databases of numeric and text information for management and clinical pruposes; medical records; issues related to the provision of information services in health organisations.


Health care is controversial because of a collision of medical and social factors: more people are living longer as medical knowledge is refined, the cost of medical technology rises faster than inflation, but there are fewer people in full time work whose taxes can pay the bills. The consequences is action by governments to control expenditure on health, principally by setting priorities to determine who most needs health care.

None of these attempts to spend available resources wisely can work without information. Health professionals need information to decide what the population's health needs are, which care procedures will have the best outcomes and at what cost. Patients and healthy members of the community need information to understand their own state of health, to sustain healthy lifestyles and to make informed choices about treatment options offered to them. It is the task of information professionals to create and operate information serives which support these information needs.


This module is at CQFW Level 6