health-systemHealth Informatics is about making optimum use of health data, a primary asset for the health industry, with the support of the most suitable digital technologies and devices. This diagram represents a national health system framework showing a number of perspectives, entities, data users and data relationships that may assist in understanding this system’s complexity.

Health Informatics Courses

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Health Informatics Background

Individual birth to death lifelong health records contain data needed for personal health care management. Once aggregated in de-identified formats, these same data may be used for research, management, administrative and governance purposes. That is optimum use of such aggregated data improves a nation’s public health services by location, resource management and enables new treatment/care and knowledge discoveries.

Such benefits can only be achieved by implementing sound data and system standards governance infrastructures. Data and systems standards are developed to facilitate system connectivity and accurate data transfer for aggregating, linking and decision making purposes without any loss of meaning during the process.

eHe is about educating the health workforce towards this vision.

Our health workforce needs to improve its data and information gathering at the point of care (documentation) and subsequent data and knowledge management, to enable our health data to be used for other purposes at the various levels within a nation’s health care system.

The six system building blocks that make up the WHO health system framework, as shown below, may be used as an alternative focus for the identification of data needs and use for the functions incorporated in each of these building blocks.


The WHO Health System Framework

[source: World Health Organisation (WHO) Everybody’s Business: Strengthening Health Systems to Improve Health Outcomes: WHO’s Framework for Action. Geneva, WHO 2007 [cited 22 Sept 2012]

eHe has used these two frameworks to guide its curriculum development activities.

Collectively the concepts shown in each of these frameworks are described in further detail under the following headings:

  • Leadership/Governance
  • Service Delivery
  • Resources and
  • Outcomes

Refer to our publication Health Informatics: an overview for greater detail about this discipline.