Module Identifier DS30910  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Ms Susan D James  
Semester Available all semesters  
Other staff Dr Christine J Urquhart, Mr Hugh J Preston, Dr Sue Lithgow  
Course delivery Lecture   9 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   6 Hours Seminar.  
  Practical   3 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   7 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam  40%
Semester Assessment Report: Submission Date - Report topic 1 or report topic 2 - 15.00 Friday 10th May 2000 Topics Write a report on one of the folloing topics (1,500 Words maximum) 1. You have been asked to advise the NHS Executive on the appropriate content of in-house training programmes for new staff recruited to posts in NHS inofmrormation services. Assuming that the staff concerned already hold general qualifications in information work, but have never worked with health information, what topics should be included in their training? In your report, distinguish between knowledge and practical skills, and offer justifications for your suggestions. Your report will be assessed against the following criteria. a. Areas of knowledge required: 30% b. Areas of competencies and practical skills required: 30% c. Justifications offered for the knowledge/competencies advocated: 30% d. Presentation and citation: 10% 2. You are a health care management consultant contracted to work with the staff of a specialist oncology centre in producing an Information Management & Technology (IM&T) strategy for the centre. Produce a report indicating the place of national IM&T objectives in the strategy with some suggestiions for incorporating existing information systems. (Essential Web page: NHS Executive. Information for health: an information strategy for the modern NHS, 1998-2005. 1998. Available : http:/www.imt4nhs.exec.nhs/strategy/full/contents.htm) Your report will be assessed against the following criteria: a. Coverage of key objectives of the strategy: 20% b. Description of information system types: 20% c. Analysis of issues for local implementation of the strategy: 40% d. Indication of role for current primary care and Trust-based information systems: 20% 
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 Essay (1,500 words)60%

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.

Reading Lists

Davies, R Urquhart, CJ, Smith J, Massiter C and Hepworth JB Establishing the value of information to nursing continuing education: report of the EVINCE project. BL RIC report 44. Wetherby: BLDSC, 1997
Libraries and information services in the health sciences. Special issue of Library Trends, Summer 1993, v42(1)
Lyon, elizabeth Online medical databases 1991 5th.
MacDougall, Jennifer and Brittain, J Michael Use of information in the NHS. 1992
Marlow, C and Preston H Information contracting tools in a cancer scpecialist unit: the role of Healthcare Resource Groups (HRGs) Information Research, 4/2 October 1998
Merry, Peter Effective use of health care information: a review of recent research 1997
NHS Executive Information for health: an information strategy for the modern NHS, 1998- 2005. 1998
Ranade, Wendy A future for the NHS? : health care for the millennium 1997 2nd.
Rivett, Geoffrey From cradle to grave: fifty years of the NHS 1998
Sheaff, Rod and Peel, Victor Managing health service information systems: an introduction. 1995
Spurgeon, Peter The new face of the NHS 1998 2nd.
Urquhart, Christine and Hepworth, John The value to clinical decision making of information supplied by NHS library and information services. BLR&DD Report n. 6205. 1995
Urquhart, Christine and Hepworth, John The value of information services to clinicians: a toolkit for measurement. 1995
Benson, Tim and Neame, Roderick Healthcare computing: a guide to health inforamtion management and systems 1994
Carmel, Michael Health care librarianship and inforamtion work 1995 2nd.
Childs S M and Milner Susan J Health information in the High Street: a DIY mkanual for setting up and running a health information center. 1990
Clarke, Jean M and Going, Mona E eds Hospital libraries and community care 1990 4th.
Department of Health The new NHS; modern,dependable Available : http:/www.official
Peter Dale Guide to libraries and information sources in medicine and health care 1995
Entwistle, Vikki A, Watt, Ian S and Herrings, James E Information about health care effectiveness: an introduction for consumer health inforamtion providers. 1996
Keen Justin Information management in health services. 1994
Klein, Rudolf The new politics of the NHS 1995 3rd.
Klein Rudolf, Day Patricia and Redmayne, Sharon Managing scarcity: priority setting and rationing in the National Health Service. 1996
Levitt, Ruth and others The reorganised National Health Services 1999 6th.
Timmins, Nicholas The five gianrs: a biography of the welfare state. 1995


This module is at CQFW Level 6