Health Informatics - elearning for healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • NHS

About the Health Informatics programme

This course has been developed by the Department of Health to provide an introduction to health informatics for those moving into the field, although it may also be useful for those already working in health or informatics who wish to expand their knowledge, or for students considering entering a career in health informatics.

The generally accepted definition of health informatics, and the one used in this course, is, ‘The knowledge, skills and tools that enable information to be collected, managed, used and shared to support the delivery of healthcare and to promote health and wellbeing’.

Everyone working in health and care services uses information every day as a part of their job. However there are also a growing number of people who specialise in information and ICT, providing essential support for clinicians, patients and managers, in areas such as ICT, information management, health records and clinical coding, education and training or the management of informatics functions.

If you are moving into health informatics it can take a while to understand the structure and set up of health and care services, the language of health and care delivery, as well as some of the basic concepts behind clinical care. You will want to understand how the data and information you collect, produce, manage and communicate supports the modern NHS, and about the specific informatics needs and challenges in health and care. You will also want to understand the context in which new technologies and IT systems operate so that they are designed and implemented with the safety and quality of services to patients and the public at the fore.

This diagram gives a developing overview of the health and care system from April 2013. A larger version can be downloaded as a PDF version below.

Download PDF version >

More information

The course is made up of five modules:

  1. Introduction to health informatics
  2. Introduction to health and care
  3. Improving the quality and safety of care through health informatics
  4. The management and funding of health and care services
  5. Primary and secondary uses of data in health and care

Each of these modules should take around 20-30 minutes to complete and each one can be undertaken on its own or as part of the full course.

The topic areas were derived from the competency standards set out for health informaticians by the UK Council for Health Informatics Professions (UKCHIP), and were tested in a survey of 70 health informatics managers both in the NHS and from other areas. Other topics, which could have been included, were found to already be available through other courses available to NHS staff, such as the Embedding Informatics in Clinical Education Programme (eICE).

We actively encourage all feedback about the course, to help us improve and develop it. Please leave comments for each module in the feedback section within the elfh Hub.

Sample session

This session provides a general introduction to health informatics – what it is, what health informatics specialists do and how it contributes to the provision of high quality health and care services.

  • Introductory session

    This session will give an overview of health informatics and its role in the health service. It is particularly aimed at those new to the health service and health informatics.

Meet the team

  • Diane Bullman

    Informatics Development Manager, NHS Digital
  • elfh-staff-Neha-Baj-learning-profile

    Neha Baj

    Senior Project Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare

How to access

In order to access the Health Informatics programme, you will need an elfh account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

To view the Health Informatics programme, select the View button below. If you already have an account with elfh, you will also be able to login and enrol on the programme from the View button.

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NHS healthcare staff in England

The Health Informatics programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this elearning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Further details are available here.

Not an NHS organisation?

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access elfh Hub, you may be able to access the service by creating an OpenAthens account.

To check whether or not you qualify for free access via OpenAthens, you can view the eligibility criteria and register on the ‘OpenAthens’ portal.

Registering large numbers of users

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Health Informatics programme, please contact elfh directly.

Organisations wishing to use their own LMS

For HR departments wanting to know more about gaining access to courses using an existing Learning Management System please contact elfh directly to express interest.

More information

Please select the following link for more information on how to use the elfh Hub.

elfh is a Health Education England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies