Healthcare + Information Technology: Overview of Informatics from the Public Health Perspective

Jessica Malenfant, MPH, Senior Health Informatics Analyst

Scott Troppy, MPH, PMP, Surveillance Epidemiologist

On Campus 20 Hours Registration Closed

Registration has closed for this course.

Course Description

This course is designed to provide “techies” and non-techies alike with a basic understanding of “informatics” and its application to public health settings and population health. Informatics is not IT (information technology). Informatics = People + Information + Technology. Health Informatics is the study of resources and methods for the management of health information. Recent digitization of health data and processes has transformed health care systems, including research, public health activities, and patient engagement. Whatever type of work you do you’ll interact with technology systems – this short course gives an overview of selected areas across the health informatics ecosystem.

We will explore technologies used in public health and clinical settings, with a focus on the intersection of technologies, people, and processes. Through lectures, discussion, group work, and case studies, participants will learn to recognize opportunities to improve and contribute to technology implementations, including skills in writing systems and business requirements, documenting workflow and data flow processes, and conducting user acceptance testing for health systems and big data. We will discuss approaches to designing technology-based tools in ways that enable users to extract data that were stored in ways that are appropriate for future analysis.


Participants will learn to:

  • describe how health informatics systems and tools can contribute to improved population health activities;
  • compare and contrast the various fields within informatics (e.g. biomedical informatics, public health informatics, consumer informatics);
  • identify and describe strengths and weaknesses in system implementations;
  • identify challenges using population health sources, including issues related to big data, interoperability and population segmentation;
  • document use cases, business requirements, and test plans for a technology implementation and ongoing system maintenance and upgrades.

Intended Audience

Professionals involved or interested in the collection and dissemination of health information.

Software development or computer science skills are NOT necessary; however, an interest in technology and people is.

Required knowledge/pre-requisites

Pre-requisites include:

  • a basic understanding of change management and data analysis;
  • MAVEN (Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network) online training and review of the Massachusetts surveillance system prior to the course—students will receive a unique username/password for the prerequisite training and course requirements two weeks  prior to the class: (;
  • PopMedNet online review and practice using this distributed health data informatics platform for research and surveillance—students will receive a unique username/password for the prerequisite activity;
  • pre-readings—students will receive selected papers to review prior to the course.

Course Details

On Campus 20 hours Registration Closed

- Monday, 9:00am-5:00pm
- Tuesday, 9:00am-5:00pm
- Wednesday, 9:00am-1:00pm