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Graduate Graduate Program Handbook ... - University of Victoria

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					  Graduate Program Handbook
Prospective & Continuing Students
TABLE OF CONTENTS

WHAT IS HEALTH INFORMATION SCIENCE? ............................................................................................. 3


OUR HISTORY AND WHERE WE ARE NOW ........................................................................................... 3-4


GOALS ..................................................................................................................................................... 4


GRADUATE PROGRAMS OFFERED .......................................................................................................... 4-5


MSC PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS ........................................................................................................... 5-7


SELECTING A SUPERVISOR ....................................................................................................................... 8


PROGRAM FEES AND FUNDING .............................................................................................................. 8-9


ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR MSC IN HEALTH INFORMATICS ....................................................... 9-10


ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR PHD IN HEALTH INFORMATICS ........................................................... 11


PHD PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND CANDIDACY EXAM ...................................................................... 12


COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ..................................................................................................................... 13-15


FACULTY AND STAFF ........................................................................................................................ 16-18


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS .......................................................................................................... 19




                                                                                     2
                                    WHAT IS HEALTH INFORMATION SCIENCE?

Health Information Science (also known as Health Informatics) is the study of how health data are collected,
stored and communicated; how those data are processed into health information suitable for administrative
and clinical decision making; and how computer and telecommunications technology can be applied to support
these processes. Students learn to identify what information and data are needed by doctors, nurses, hospital
administrators, government planners and other health care professionals and how they are used in order to
make effective health care decisions.

The School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria has been a pioneering influence in the
field of health informatics and health informatics education for almost thirty years. It has been a leader in health
informatics education, research and consultancy both at the national and international levels. The School was
the first post-secondary educational program in Canada in health informatics and remains the only school or
department in Canada exclusively devoted to health informatics education at all levels (from undergraduate to
PhD education). Most of the programs in other parts of the world have either a highly ‘medical’ or ‘biological’
as opposed to a broader ‘health’ informatics focus. The School is in the top three in the world in terms of the
number of faculty fully dedicated to research and teaching in health informatics.

The mission of the School is to improve health care delivery systems by educating individuals to be effective
developers, users and managers of health information resources; by advancing knowledge through research;
and by providing a consultative service to the health care community. The School's view of health information
encompasses clinical, sociological, epidemiological, administrative, legal, and economic perspectives. Health
is seen from a community perspective and encompasses the full range of services including health promotion
and disease prevention, home care, community health and occupational health, physicians’ services,
institutional acute care, rehabilitation and extended care. As health information is increasingly being processed
by computers and transmitted by communications technology, the School's programs have a significant
technological component.

                                     OUR HISTORY AND WHERE WE ARE NOW

In the late seventies, Dr. William Gibson, then Chairman of the Universities Council of British Columbia,
envisaged a need for a new type of professional who had the knowledge and skills to effectively introduce
information technology into Canada’s health care system. His vision came to fruition in 1981 when the
University of Victoria inaugurated a new four-year Bachelor of Science degree program in Health Information
Science. The new program was added to the University’s Faculty of Human and Social Development
consisting of the Schools of Child and Youth Care, Nursing, Public Administration and Social Work. For
nineteen years it was unique in Canada, and it still leads the way in education in the health informatics
industry. With eight full-time faculty members and a support team of xx full-time people, the School is the
largest in Canada and one of the largest in the world.

In the fall of 1982 the initial curriculum was initiated and the first classes taught. The curriculum was based on
international consultations and two different model curriculums prepared by the Association for Computing
Machinery. In September 1983, the inaugural class of 15 students was admitted into the School. The May
1986 convocation saw the first group of Health Information Science students receive their degrees. In 1987,
the Health Information Science program was granted “School” status.

In 1990, the School admitted its first Masters by special arrangement graduate student and the 1993
convocation saw the School’s first Masters student receive her degree. In 1990, the School admitted its first
PhD by special arrangement student and saw its first PhD student graduate in 1994. In 2003, the School’s ‘on
campus’ Masters of Health Informatics degree program was approved. In 2005, the School was approved to
also offer a ‘distance based’ Masters of Health Informatics degree and the inaugural class of 4 began their
studies in September 2005.



                                                         3
                                                    GOALS

The School aims to provide a flexible learning environment for students, within certain completion and financial
deadlines as regulated by the University of Victoria. Students may take more or less courses per term,
depending on their needs and schedules, or may temporarily withdraw from the program for a term, if personal
circumstances require.

In Canada, the issue of availability of qualified practitioners is of growing concern and a number of
organizations are now working to consider what can be done to ease the shortage of trained professionals in
both the short and long term. The School’s contribution to this international shortage is to ensure that it
produces graduates who possess the specific and highly sought after technical skills, while at the same time
having a global “holistic” perspective to health information science. The attributes being fostered in Health
Information Science graduates include:

       1.     Graduates must ascribe to ethical principles and have an understanding of both the positive and
              negative impacts of health informatics on society. In addition they must be able to apply
              professional code of conduct espoused by the International Medical Informatics Association.
       2.     Graduates must have a broad health care industry and real-world perspective on key aspects of
              health care system design and evaluation. This should span understanding success and failure
              of systems at multiple levels, from the end user of systems to the broader organizational and
              societal levels.
       3.     Graduates must possess strong analytical and critical thinking skills, particularly in areas related
              to understanding selection, deployment and application of research methods in improving the
              usefulness, usability and appropriate uptake of health informatics innovations
       4.     Graduates must have an integrative perspective to information technology grounded in sound
              methodological skills focused on continuous quality improvement, ability to design algorithms
              and to understand advances in system program engineering, design and evaluation methods.
       5.     Graduates must possess skills that will allow them to develop innovative approaches to
              understanding, modeling and re-engineering organizational processes and data and
              implementing process and technical solutions. In addition, graduates must be used to and
              capable of continually learning and staying abreast of ever changing trends, technologies and
              advances emerging from research and development (e.g. consumer empowerment, medical
              technologies, genomics, bio-informatics etc.)




                                        GRADUATE PROGRAMS OFFERED

The School currently offers four types of graduate degrees:

   •   On-campus MSc in Health Informatics
   •   Distributed MSc in Health Informatics
   •   Joint MSc in Health Informatics and MS in Nursing (to begin September 2010)
   •   PhD by special arrangement

Plans to establish a formal PhD program have been through the first stage of approval and are one of the
School’s strategic priorities.

The Distributed MSc began as a two year pilot project; it was recognized there is a known demand for a
professionally-oriented program which would be primarily course-based and would lend itself to distance
education. This distributed MSc was initially offered as a collaborative initiative among the Universities of
Alberta, Calgary and British Columbia, COACH-Canada’s Health Informatics Association, and ShirWin
                                                       4
Knowledge & Learning Systems, through special project funding from the Office of Learning Technologies in
Human Resource Skills Development. It is now a regular MSc program with three entry dates.

The new Double Degrees MSc in Health Informatics and Master’s in Nursing option permits nurses who are
interested in health information technology to develop graduate level competencies in both Nursing and Health
Information Science. The option is intended to prepare nursing leaders with a background essential for working
in the rapidly expanding field of nursing and health informatics. Graduates will be prepared to take leadership
roles in informatics, telehealth, implementation of electronic health care records and other areas of emerging
health technology.



                                         MSC PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Both the On campus and the Distributed Stream MSc programs require a minimum of 16.5 units of course
work, including a major project or thesis. Both streams consist of graduate level online Health Informatics
courses from the School, as well as online elective courses from our partner institutions at the Universities of
British Columbia, Alberta and Calgary.


Thesis or Major Project

A thesis is worth 6 units of credit. This requires there to be a research question that needs to be addressed
and a particular research method and study design needs to be applied in order to find the answer to the
question. The study should be doable within a reasonable time frame, such as 1 year, including the time to
write up, have a committee review a draft and make revisions. A 3-4 page proposal is required before starting,
in order that the thesis supervisor can provide feedback and guidance; it is not uncommon for such proposals
to be written a number of times before being finalized. The thesis is intended to enable the student to: critically
evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; to evaluate methodologies and develop
critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses. It requires a high degree of self direction
and originality in tackling and solving problems, in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or
equivalent level.

A Major Project is worth 3 units of credit (this option is available to distributed stream students only). Its
requirements are similar to a thesis though instead of a research question, there is a particular issue or
problem that needs investigation; the project findings are expected to be of value to a project sponsor. It is
often undertaken within a student’s place of employment and is expected to demonstrate a high level of
achievement in the application of advanced knowledge in the related field being studied. It is intended to
develop the mastery of the skills required to complete a complex project in a specific area of study.

The thesis option is recommended if the student plans to possibly pursue a PhD in the future as its focus on
research is more intensive (i.e. it is typically more elaborate and consequently requires fewer courses, than the
project option).

NB: Even though a topic may not have been chosen when starting the program, registration in HINF 598 or
HINF 599 is required in every term, starting with the very first term and every term until completion of the
degree.

There are two 2-week on campus workshops in May/June of each year. Attendance at these workshops is
mandatory for the Distributed Stream MSc and optional for the On-campus MSc. The two courses run for
approximately two weeks, with courses wrapping up online within another 3-4 weeks.




                                                         5
Required Courses
HINF 503 (1.5) Research Methods in Health Informatics
HINF 580 (1.0) Health Informatics Graduate Seminar (only for On-Campus students)
HINF 598 (3.0) Major project or HINF 599 (6.0) Thesis

Electives

Project option - a minimum of 12 units from the HINF electives list
Thesis option - a minimum of 9 units from the HINF electives list

HINF 501 (1.5) Database Design
HINF 510 (1.5) Information Management and Technology
HINF 511 (1.5) Clinical Decision Support Systems
HINF 515 (1.5) Clinical Information Systems
HINF 516 (1.5) Telemedicine in Action
HINF 530 (1.5) Health Informatics Literature Review
HINF 531 (1.5) Ethical and Legal Aspects of Health Informatics
HINF 535 (1.5) Health Information Standards
HINF 550 (1.5) Health Information Systems Design
HINF 551 (1.5) Electronic Health Record
HINF 552 (1.5) Evaluation in e-Health
HINF 553 (1.5) e-Health Sustainability
HINF 554 (1.5) Critical Appraisal of the Health Sciences Literature
HINF 560 (1.5) Health Care Quality Improvement
HINF 561 (1.5) Project Management in Health Informatics
HINF 562 (1.5) Procurement in Health Informatics
HINF 570 (1.5) Epidemiology in Health Services Management
HINF 571 (1.5) Health Systems Data Analysis
HINF 572 (1.5) Health Informatics: An Overview
HINF 573 (1.5) Applied Biostatistics
HINF 575 (1.5) Human Factures in Healthcare
HINF 590 (1.5) Directed Studies in Health Informatics (normally only taken once)
HINF 591 (1.5) Topics in Health Informatics (may be taken more than once if the topic is different)



On campus MSc students, with the approval of their supervisor, may select relevant elective courses from
other UVic departments realizing that the courses may have prerequisites. Examples of relevant courses from
other departments are:

   •   EDCI 560 (1.5) Learning in Higher Education
   •   HSD 504 (1.5) Ethical Behaviour in Professional Practice
   •   SOCI 501 (1.5) Linear Models
   •   SOCI 510 (1.5) Quantitative Methods (prerequisite: SOCI 501 or equivalent)
   •   SOCI 511 (1.5) Research Design
   •   SOCI 515 (1.5) Qualitative Research Methods (prerequisite: SOCI 374 or equivalent)




                                                        6
Sample On-Campus Program

                               YEAR                                                        YEAR
                               ONE                                                         TWO
    COURSE      Sep-Dec        Jan -Apr    May           Jun   Jul   Aug     Sep-Dec       Jan - Apr    May            Jun    Jul   Aug
                           1                                                           1
    Required    HINF599                                                      HINF599
                                                                                                                  3
                HINF580                                                                                 HINF503
                                                                             Co-op                                            Co-op
                                       2             3                   2        4                2                               4
    Electives                  Elective    HINF551             Elective      term          Elective     HINF510               term
                                           HINF560
1
  HINF 599: Thesis (6 units) is taken on a continuous basis throughout program
2
  These may be taken from other departments, in consultation with advisor, as appropriate to student’s program
3
  These courses are part of the on-campus 2-week workshops in May
4
  Co-op term is optional


Sample Distributed Program

                               YEAR                                          YEAR
                               ONE                                           TWO
COURSE          Sep-Dec        Jan - Apr   May           Jun   Jul Aug       Sep-Dec       Jan - Apr   May            Jun    Jul Aug
Required        HINF598*                                                     HINF598*
                                                     HINF580                                           HINF503^
                        HINF552                               HINF511                      HINF553                           HINF
Electives HINF571 or                HINF551^                  or                           or          HINF510^              591
                        HINF516 HINF560                       HINF517                      HINF554
*HINF 598 is taken on a continuous basis throughout program
^These courses are part of the on-campus 2-week workshops in May

NB: The electives offered vary from year to year; students will be regularly notified by the School as to
what courses will be offered in what term for any given academic year (May – April).


See the Graduate Calendar for detailed information regarding program requirements:

           http://web.uvic.ca/calendar2009/GRAD/index.html
           http://web.uvic.ca/calendar2009/GRAD/GPROGS/HISc/index.html




                                                                     7
                                           SELECTING A SUPERVISOR

Students are encouraged to take some time in their first term to think about what area of research they would
like to pursue in their major project or thesis before taking on a specific topic and supervisor. This exploration
can involve taking HINF 530, talking to the School’s faculty, checking their research profiles on the school
website (http://hinf.uvic.ca/people/index.php), reading their publications, attending faculty research
presentations and setting appointments with potential supervisors - either in person or on the phone, in order to
find out more about their expertise and availability to supervise.

Students are encouraged to first approach a number of faculty to see who might be available and who might fit
best with their project or thesis interests and educational needs before selecting a supervisor. Once a student
has found a regular faculty member willing to be their supervisor, they are to then inform the graduate
secretary by e-mail, copying the faculty member. Students should have arranged for a supervisor at the latest
by end of their second term.

Once a student has established a supervisor, the student is to consult with the supervisor to select a
committee member(s). Masters projects and theses require a supervisor and at least one other member for
their committee; the second member may be a regular faculty member, adjunct or other member of the Faculty
of Graduate Studies. Thesis based students are encouraged to also have an external faculty member from
outside the School (often outside the University) to be a part of their final defence. In some cases that other
member may be listed as co-supervisor (if the two faculty members agree to share the supervisory
responsibilities).

PhD committees will consist of a supervisor and at least two other faculty members. An external reviewer at
the final defence is mandatory.



                                    PROGRAM FEES AND FUNDING SUPPORT

UVic fees are subject to annual increase. The fee for a particular program does not cover the cost of learning
resources and workshop travel. International students are charged differential fees. Please see the University
Calendar (available at the UVic bookstore or online at http://web.uvic.ca/calendar) for the appropriate year for
current fees. For more information on the University fee structure, see
http://registrar.uvic.ca/grad/continuing/fees/tuitionandfees.html.

A Distributed MSc and On-campus MSc is set up to be completed in 2 years, with a 5 year maximum time limit;
and a PhD in 5 years, with a maximum 7 year time limit.

The 2010/11 tuition fee the On-campus MSc for domestic students is $1,650.08 per term. Students are
required to pay a minimum of 5 terms. Students who take longer than 6 terms (2 years) to complete their
studies will be assessed re-registration fees each term until their studies are complete. All on-campus
graduate students pay additional auxilary fees for: Graduate Student Society membership; Universal Bus Pass;
Athletics/Recreation; Extended Health Plan; Dental Plan. With proof of alternative plans, on-campus students
are permitted to opt out of the Health Care and Dental Insurance Plans.

The 2010/11 tuition fee for the Distributed MSc program is $4,182.08 per term, which includes the
accommodation and meal cost for the two workshops. Distributed MSc students who take longer than 6 terms
(2 years) to complete their studies will be assessed re-registration fees each term until their studies are
complete. Applicants are encouraged to seek sponsorship from their employer or related organizations to enrol
in this program. Other than the possibility of being awarded a scholarship or bursary, no financial assistance
will be available through the program.

The 2010/11 tuition fee for PhD studies for domestic students is $1,650.08 per term. Students are required to
pay a minimum of 7.5 terms. Students who take longer than 5 years to complete their studies will be assessed

                                                        8
re-registration fees each term until their studies are complete. All on-campus graduate students pay additional
ancillary fees for: Graduate Student Society membership; Universal Bus Pass; Athletics/Recreation; Extended
Health Plan; Dental Plan. With proof of alternative plans, on-campus students are permitted to opt out of the
Health Care and Dental Insurance Plans.

The School has a number of undergraduate and graduate scholarships and bursaries which are awarded
annually to outstanding students in various stages of their studies. Each year, The Denis and Pat Protti
Endowment Fund give out one or more awards to:

     (a) graduate student(s) in or about to enter the School’s on-campus or distance-based program
     (b) graduate student(s) or senior undergraduate student(s) for a short-term study at another organization or
         institution
     (c) student(s) who wish to attend a scientific conference


Information on available funding for graduate students can be found at:
    • General Funding Information: http://web.uvic.ca/gradstudies/students/fees.php#awards
    • List of all Graduate Awards & Bursaries: http://web.uvic.ca/gradstudies/students/awards.php
    • HINF Scholarships and Awards: http://hinf.uvic.ca/sinfo/awards.php



                          ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR A MSC IN HEALTH INFORMATICS

Candidates are required to have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited University and may include such
health professionals as physicians, nurses, therapists and laboratory technologists, as well as IT professionals
working in the health sector. Those with a Bachelor’s degree in a non-health or non-IT related field are also
encouraged to apply with the understanding that they will be required to have taken at least one health course
and one IT course from either the School’s undergraduate program or elsewhere depending. These
requirements may be waived if the candidate already has the appropriate knowledge and/or relevant work
experience.

The submission of GRE scores or equivalent GMAT/MCAT scores with a score above the 75th percentile is
usually required and will only be waived under special circumstances. A Test of English as a Foreign
Language (TOEFL) score of 575 or higher is required of all foreign students whose first language is not
English.

All applicants are required to submit the standard UVic graduate studies application package according to the
guidelines from the Faculty of Graduate Studies (http://registrar.uvic.ca/grad/ ), and must include in this
package additional materials required by the School of Health Information Science (see below). The
application procedures are outlined below.

1.   Standard UVic Graduate Studies Application Package

     •   Consult the Graduate Admissions and Records webpage (http://registrar.uvic.ca/grad/admission-
         checklist.html) for instructions. The “Steps to Applying for Admission” link is particularly useful.
     •   Applicants are responsible for obtaining the appropriate transcripts, assessment reports, GRE test
         scores and other documents outlined in the application package.
     •   Applicants who are not Canadian, should follow the links for “International Student Information” which
         provide the information on minimum requirements from other countries, proper submission of your
         documents, TOEFL tests, visas and more.

2.   Additional material required by the Health Information Science Applications



                                                        9
   •   A 1-2 page expression of interest which provides your rationale for wanting to take a graduate degree
          at the School of Health Information Science. It should include your thoughts on how you intend to
          apply the knowledge learned from this program in the workplace. If relevant, mention should be
          made of any support you have from your employer to enrol in this program and whether it includes
          protected-time or expectations to work on a major project.

   •   A personal resume (CV) which includes your education background, employment history,
          professional/academic affiliations and other achievements such as publications or awards. It should
          be a maximum of 4 pages long.

   •   International students will also need to provide a letter from a current employer confirming employment
           status with the organization, and that they plan to continue to work there during the 2-3 years that
           they are enrolled in the program. International students in the Distributed Masters, should only
           plan to stay in Victoria for the 2-week workshop in May/June, in both year one and year two. They
           are expected to return to their country in between these workshops to continue working for their
           employer.

3. Submit the completed Graduate Studies Application Package along with the School’s requirements to the
   Graduate Admissions and Records Office (GARO). GARO will notify you by mail if you satisfy the
   requirements to enter Graduate Studies at the University of Victoria. If so, your application will be sent to
   the School of Health Information Science who will notify you by mail or email that it will process your
   application by a certain date.

4. Once accepted into one of the School’s programs, confirmation of your intent to pursue studies must be
   sent to the Graduate Admissions and Records office within 2 weeks of notification from the School of
   Health Information Science.


Once a students’ program (distributed or on campus) is in progress he/she will not be able to switch into the
other stream. Those wishing to do so are required to first withdraw from that program and reapply to enter
another program.


                  On Campus Stream Application Deadlines
                    Entry point   Domestic Applicants:            International Applicants:
                     September:             January 15                   December 15
                        May:                January 15                   September 15


                   Distributed Stream Application Deadlines
                     Entry point      Domestic Applicants:        International Applicants:
                     September:               May 31                     December 15
                      January:              October 31                      April 15
                        May:                February 28                 September 15




                                                       10
                         ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR A PHD IN HEALTH INFORMATICS

Candidates are required to have a Master’s degree from an accredited University and may include such health
professionals as physicians, nurses, therapists and laboratory technologists, as well as IT professionals
working in the health sector. Those with a Master’s degree in a non-health or non-IT related field are also
encouraged to apply with the understanding that they will be required to have taken at least one health course
and one IT course from either the School’s undergraduate program or elsewhere depending. These
requirements may be waived if the candidate already has the appropriate knowledge and/or relevant work
experience.

The submission of GRE scores or equivalent GMAT/MCAT scores with a score above the 75th percentile is
usually required and will only be waived under special circumstances. A Test of English as a Foreign
Language (TOEFL) score of 575 or higher is required of all foreign students whose first language is not
English.

Individuals who have an interest in the PhD program should study the School’s faculty research interests on
our web site and read some of their publications from which they can generate preliminary thoughts as to what
area they may like to work in. They should then directly contact the faculty member(s) most closely aligned to
their interests to see if they would be willing to be a PhD supervisor.

Since the School currently only offers a PhD by special arrangement, there is a preliminary review process
which starts with the following documents being forwarded to the School by the end of January:

   •   All post secondary education transcripts (copies accepted)
   •   Two letters of reference
   •   CV/resume
   •   A letter of intent and rationale for wanting to pursue a PhD and the indication of a School faculty
       member’s willingness to be a supervisor
   •   PhD proposal

The above documents are reviewed by a School committee that meets in February of each year to decide
whether or not to move forward with your application. If your initial proposal is accepted by the committee and
a faculty member has agreed to supervise you, the “Individual Special Arrangement Proposal for Approval
Form” (http://registrar.uvic.ca/grad/documents/Individ.pdf) would be completed by you and your supervisor.

There is then a formal application process that requires the submission of an application and official supporting
documents to the Graduate Admissions and Records Office (http://registrar.uvic.ca/grad/).

 ** Please note the deadline for the submission of the online application form is due before the preliminary
review of your expression of interest to the School.



PHD Application Deadline
  Entry point      Domestic Applicants:           International Applicants:
  September:               January 15                    December 15




                                                       11
                                         PHD PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

   1. Completion of course work, to be predetermined by your supervisor
   2. Registration in HINF 699: Thesis is required every term, starting with your very first term until
      completion of your degree.
   3. Successful completion of PhD Candidacy Examination within 1st two years of program




                                         PhD Candidacy Examination

Within two years of registration as a provisional doctoral student and at least six months before the final oral
examination, a student must pass a candidacy examination. The purpose of the candidacy examination is to
test the student's understanding of material considered essential to the completion of a PhD and/or the
student's competence to do research which will culminate in a PhD dissertation in health information science.

The candidacy examination will consist of a written and an oral component. The student must demonstrate
essential breadth and depth knowledge in health information science. The student will write two background
papers: (1) one paper on a breadth topic area which is essential to health informatics (based on readings from
a core set of articles deemed essential by the faculty for competence in health information science), and (2)
one paper on a depth topic area, which will explore in detail a topic of key relevance for the area the student
will potentially be interested in exploring for the thesis. The exact topics of the two papers will be determined by
the supervisor in conjunction with relevant faculty members. The written papers will be completed and
submitted for review and feedback by the supervisor and relevant faculty. If the papers are deemed by the
supervisor and relevant faculty to be of sufficient quality then the oral component of the exam will be
scheduled.

The oral component of the exam will consist of a two hour examination of the candidate’s breadth and depth of
knowledge of health information science. The panel judging the presentation will consist of at least 3 faculty
members. The outcome will be a pass or fail. If a student fails the candidacy exam he/she will be given one
additional chance to pass the exam.

When a student has successfully completed the candidacy examination, the School Graduate Advisor will send
a memorandum of confirmation to the Graduate Admissions and Records Office. The memorandum will be
signed by the student's supervisor and the School Director.




                                                        12
                                              COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

HINF 501 Database Design (1.5 units). Addresses the issues facing a database designer in the development
of database applications appropriate for health data of various kinds. The content includes the elements of
conceptual, implementation and physical database design to support health information systems.

HINF 503 Research Methods in Health Informatics (1.5 units). Examines a variety of study designs used in
medical informatics and outcomes research. These include experimental designs, observational and predictive
studies, and qualitative inquiries. For each study design, appropriate analytical approaches and use of related
software will be covered.

HINF 510 Health Information Management (1.5 units). Critically examines the application of state-of-the-art
IM&T principles and methods in the private sector and the degree to which they apply to Canadian health care
organizations. In doing so, it identifies the issues which chief information officers face in their attempts to
provide the right information to the right people at the right time for the right price. Offered in alternate years.

HINF 511 Clinical Decision Support Systems (1.5 units). An overview of clinical decision support (CDS)
systems and methods. Students will be introduced to CDS tools and techniques that will help them make
informed decisions within their organization and participate in strategic planning activities. Course modules
include: a conceptual framework for describing and analyzing CDS, effectiveness of CDS interventions,
policies affecting CDS deployments, and health information standards pertinent to CDS initiatives.

HINF 515 Clinical Information Systems (1.5 units). A thorough coverage of concepts, methodologies and
techniques available to support patient care processes through the use of information technology. It includes a
review of factual and patient information systems, signal and pattern processing applications, decision support,
simulation, education and training applications. Offered in alternate years.

HINF 516 Telemedicine in Action (1.5 units). A case-based approach to telemedicine and its applications in
the field. Enrolees will engage in curriculum around the three following contextual cases: clinical; education;
administration applications. Students will interact with, experience, and review, a range of technology-enabled
learning tools, participate in technology demonstrations, and engage in exchanges with various telehealth and
informatics personnel and experts.

HINF 530 Health Informatics Literature Review (1.5 units). An in depth exploration of a health informatics
topic. Students who are already part way through their degree program may select a topic that will help them
with their project or thesis. Students who have just joined the program may wish to explore new topics that
might lead them to a specific area of interest for project/thesis.

HINF 531 Ethical and Legal Aspects of Health Informatics (1.5 units). An advanced review of legal aspects
of the health care profession, including confidentiality, privacy, legal liability of software systems and
contractual issues. Students will gain an appreciation for legal terminology, reasoning, and processes, as well
as basic principles of law which apply to and govern health systems in Canada.

HINF 535 Health Information Standards (1.5 units). The study of health information standards being
deployed and used in Canada and elsewhere. The standards to be examined include data, messaging and
terminology standards such as meta-data schemas, HL7v2.X, HL7v3, HL7-CDA, CCR, CCD, DICOM, ICD10,
LOINC, SNOMED CT, archetypes and nursing terminologies. Topics include: the nature of standards, their
historical evolution and lifecycles for standards from development and distribution to maintenance. Emphasis
will be on both the strategic relevance of and practical skills in working with standards.

HINF 550 Health Information Systems Design (1.5 units). Designing health information systems. Case
studies will be used to discuss how systems are designed and implemented in complex settings. Students will

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work in teams with other students to develop a total system solution to a particular health care problem.
Offered in alternate years.

HINF 551 Electronic Health Record (1.5 units). An examination of recent efforts in modeling health
information and documents. It covers a structured review of the current literature, development of a means for
selecting key articles, and development of a structure for findings, including types and classes of health
information, methods of health information documentation, and current status of use of XML in health
information systems, including a summary of current limits and challenges.

HINF 552 Evaluation in e-Health (1.5 units). Practical insights and understanding of an evaluation process
for e-health initiatives. This includes assessing the effectiveness of e-health programs, evaluation design, data
collection and analysis, as well as recommendations to assist decision-makers.

HINF 553 e-Health Sustainability (1.5 units). Focuses on the issue of sustainability and how e-health
applications can be planned in a manner that encourages ultimate integration and routine use.

HINF 554 Critical Appraisal of the Health Sciences Literature (1.5 units). An opportunity for students
improve their ability to find, appraise and use evidence about health care interventions appearing in the health
sciences literature. Using an online virtual classroom format, students will gain knowledge of the criteria used
to appraise the validity, importance and applicability of different types of health literature.

HINF 560 Health Care Quality Improvement (1.5 units). Practical insights and understanding of an evaluation
process for e-health initiatives. This includes assessing the effectiveness of e-health programs, evaluation
design, data collection and analysis, as well as recommendations to assist decision-makers.

HINF 561 Project Management in Health Informatics (1.5 units). An introduction to the essentials of project
management and the project lifecycle. Topics include project lifecycle management, and all project processes
including: project charter, network diagramming, scope management, cost management, risk management,
issue management, change management, scheduling and schedule management.

HINF 562 Procurement in Health Informatics (1.5 units). An introduction to the procurement process in
health informatics and will cover key decision making aspects in the analysis and selection of health
information systems. An important goal of this course is to have students appreciate the dynamics and
compromises which take place when a health care authority/facility selects information technology to primarily
support its work practices.

HINF 570 Epidemiology in Health Services Management (1.5 units). An examination of the principles and
methods of managerial epidemiology. The course focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of
epidemiological analyses as applied to management in the health and social services, including the role of
epidemiology in health services planning and policy formulation, health status indicators, outcome
measurement and utilization analysis. Offered in alternate years.

HINF 571 Health Systems Data Analysis (1.5 units). The major health system databases and how, with
record linkage, they can be analyzed to create pictures of system components for strategic planning, ongoing
program management, monitoring and evaluation. By working with real data and real problems, you will learn
basic tools and methods of health system data analysis.

HINF 572 Health Informatics: An Overview (1.5 units). An overview of current developments, issues and
challenges in the emerging field of health informatics. Historical development of the field will be covered. The
course will also touch on basic foundations of health informatics, including the field's theoretical and
methodological underpinnings. In addition, the course will consider a range of emerging applications in health
informatics as well as approaches to understanding and evaluating these innovations.

HINF 573 Applied Biostatistics (1.5 units). A computer laboratory course primarily designed to provide
practical experience in running SPSS software, interpreting output and presenting findings in Figures and

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Tables, suitable for publications or dissertations. Topics covered include: understanding statistics, data
management and cleaning, recode and compute statements, scale development (Cronbach's alpha), t-tests,
chi-square analyses, correlation and logistic regression. The skills learned in this course are those commonly
used in quantitative research for health and social sciences.

HINF 575 Human Factors in Healthcare (1.5 units). Introduces a framework for considering human factors in
health informatics will be presented. This includes study of human-computer interaction in the design of a
range of health informatics applications, user analysis, workflow modeling, consideration of methods of
evaluating system usability and socio-technical aspects of successful healthcare system design. In addition,
approaches to the design of systems that are safe and that reduce human error in healthcare will be
emphasized.

HINF 580 Health Informatics Graduate Seminar (1.5 units). Key themes, issues and trends in Health
Informatics. Consists of presentations by faculty and students on different Health Informatics subject areas.

HINF 590 Directed Study (1.5 units). This course allows the student to pursue directed readings or a project
under the supervision of a faculty member.

HINF 591 Topics in Health Informatics (1.5 units). Advanced topics in various areas of health informatics.
Topics vary depending on faculty interests and availability. Students may take this course more than once.

HINF 598 Research Project (3.0 units). The student is required to conduct a major research project in health
informatics under the supervision of a faculty member.

HINF 599 Health Informatics Thesis (6.0 units). The thesis provides the student with the opportunity of
conducting original research and interpretation of those results in Health Informatics.




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                                              FACULTY AND STAFF

The School’s team consists of 8 core faculty, 2 professional, 4 secretarial staff, and 31 adjunct faculty. The
majority of the faculty have health backgrounds, totaling 130 person-years of practicing health care experience.
The School’s faculty have published over 400 papers and given over 600 presentations to scientific and
community groups. Two of the School’s faculty were the first Canadians to be elected to the American College
of Medical Informatics. All of the School’s faculty serve on international professional and scientific committees
and associations.

In addition to its core faculty and adjunct faculty, the School makes extensive use of guest lecturers; over 400
professionals from organizations in Victoria, Vancouver and across Canada have come at their own expense
to participate in the School’s classes.

                                              REGULAR FACULTY

Elizabeth Borycki, Assistant Professor
RN, HBScN (Lakehead), MN (Manitoba), PhD (Toronto)
Tel: (250) 472-5432; Email: emb@uvic.ca
Areas of research: Health management, organization and strategy; disease management, respirology and
geriatrics; nursing informatics and the effect of technology upon nurses' work; evaluation of the impact of
information technology in health care; clinical informatics.

Gerhard Brauer, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Student Advisor
BA (Honours)(Victoria), MA in Medical Anthropology (Brit.Col) EdD (UBC)
Tel: (250) 721-8574; Email: gwbrauer@uvic.ca
Areas of research: Epidemiology and epidemiology information systems; technology assessment; comparative
health care systems; systems analysis; pedagogy; rural health care, health in development; telemedicine,
telehealth, etc.; interactive computer graphics in education; program evaluation

Alex M.H. Kuo, Assistant Professor
BSc (Taiwan), MBA (Taiwan), PhD (Nottingham, UK)
Tel: (250) 472-4300; Email: akuo@uvic.ca
Areas of research: data interoperability, health database & data warehousing, data mining application in
healthcare, and e-health.

Andre Kushniruk, Professor
BSc (Brock), BA (Brock), MSc (McMaster), PhD (McGill)
Tel: (250) 472-5132; Email: andrek@uvic.ca
Areas of research: Evaluation of the use and usability of information systems; e-Health and telemedicine;
Consumer informatics; Cognitive aspects of decision support systems; Data mining in health informatics;
Computerized patient record systems; Evaluation methodologies; Intelligent information filtering; Usability
engineering; Knowledge representation; Design of health care user interfaces and human-computer;
interaction in complex domains.

Francis Lau, Professor
BSc (Alberta), MSc (Alberta), MBA (Alberta), PhD (Alberta)
Tel: (250) 472-5131; Email: fylau@uvic.ca
Areas of research: Strategic IT planning for health systems; Electronic health records; Information
management and analysis; Impacts of IT in health; Action research; Design, implementation and evaluation of
health information systems; Decision support systems; Knowledge management.

Scott Macdonald, Professor
BSc (Victoria), MA (Toronto), PhD (Western Ontario)
Tel: (250) 721-8579; Email: scottmac@uvic.ca
Areas of research: Substance abuse, drug testing and other workplace alcohol/drug programs.

                                                       16
Jochen Moehr, Professor Emeritus
Staatsexamen Medizin, Dr. med. (M.D., Marburg, Fed. Rep. Germany), Habilitation fuer Medizinische
Informatik (PhD, Hannover Med. School, Fed. Rep. Germany)
Tel: (250) 721-8581; Email: jmoehr@uvic.ca
Areas of research: Medical Informatics, Health Informatics, Hospital Information Systems, Medical Artificial
Intelligence, Medical Records, Medical Coding, Factual Information Systems; Information Engineering,
Software Engineering, User Interfaces, Adaptive Systems; Epidemiology, Clinical Trials, Health Care
Evaluation, Technology Evaluation, Preventive Medicine.

Denis Protti, Professor
BSc (Alberta), MSc (Manitoba)
Tel: (250) 721-8814; Email: dprotti@uvic.ca
Areas of research: International Approaches to eHealth and the EHR; Health Care Information Management &
Technology Strategic Planning; Chief Information Officers; Evaluation of Information Management &
Technology; Physician Office EMR systems.

Abdul Roudsari, Director and Graduate Advisor
BSc (London), MSc (London), PhD (London)
Tel: (250) 721-8576; Email: abdul@uvic.ca
Areas of research: Electronic healthcare and telecare and ehealth.



                                              ADJUNCT FACULTY

Ellen Balka, Adjunct Professor, BA (Washington), MA (Simon Fraser), PhD (Simon Fraser)

Jeff Barnett, Adjunct Assistant Professor, BSc (UBC), MSc (Victoria)

David Birnbaum, Adjunct Professor, BA (Berkley), MPH (Minnesota), PhD (UBC)

Bruce Carleton, Adjunct Associate Professor, B.Pharm (Washington State) , Pharm.D. (Utah)

Patricia Coward, Adjunct Associate Professor, RN (Toronto General Hospital), BScN (Toronto) M.N. (Alberta),
PhD (Case Western Reserve)

Colin Dormuth, Adjunct Assistant Professor, BA (Manitoba), MA (Manitoba), SM (Harvard), SD (Harvard

Michael Downing, Adjunct Assistant Professor, MD (Western Ontario)

Christopher Eagle, Adjunct Professor, BSc (Calgary), MD (Calgary), MBA (Western Ontario)

Paul Fisher, Adjunct Associate Professor, BSc (Victoria) , MSc (Alberta) , PhD (Alberta)

Lawrence Frisch, Adjunct Associate Professor, BA (Reed), MD (Harvard), MPH (Washington)

Michael Guerriere, Adjunct Associate Professor,Master of Management (Northwestern - Chicago), MD
(Toronto)

Marilynne Hebert, Assistant Professor (Limited Term), BSc (Alberta), PhD (UBC)

Sandra Jarvis-Selinger, Adjunct Assistant Professor, BA (Brock), HBA (Lakehead), B.Ed. (Lakehead), M.Ed
(UBC), PhD (UBC)


                                                       17
Donald Juzwishin, Adjunct Associate Professor, BA Political Science (Alberta) , MHSA, (Alberta) PhD (Alberta)

Karim Keshavjee, Adjunct Assistant Professor,BSc (McGill), MSc (Toronto), MD (Toronto), MBA (Toronto)

Malcolm Maclure, Adjunct Professor, BA Biochemistry (Oxford), SM Epidemiology (Harvard), SD Epidemiology
(Harvard)

Roman Mateyko, Adjunct Assistant Professor, BA.Sc., (Toronto)

James McDaniel, Adjunct Assistant Professor, BSc (Case Western Reserve), MSc (Cornell), BS (Victoria),
PhD (Victoria)

Howard Pai, Adjunct Assistant Professor, MD, (Western Ontario)

Yuri Quintana, Adjunct Associate Professor,BASc (Waterloo), MASc (Waterloo), PhD (Waterloo)

Nola Ries, Adjunct Assistant Professor,, BA (Alberta), LL.B. (Victoria), M.P.A. (Victoria), LL.M. (Alberta)

Tom Rosenal, Adjunct Associate Professor, BSc (Calgary), MD (Calgary), MSc (Calgary)

Richard Scott, Adjunct Associate Professor, BSc (Plymouth), PhD (Calgary)

Nicola Shaw, Adjunct Associate Professor, MRSCert, BSc (Hons) England), MBCS, PhD (England)

Brian Shorter, Adjunct Assistant Professor, HNC (UK) MBA (Dalhousie)

Richard Stanwick, Adjunct Professor, BSc (Manitoba), MD (Manitoba), MSc (McGill)

Robert Tornack, Adjunct Assistant Professor, RN (Vancouver Community College), BScN (University of British
Columbia), MBA (City University)

Jens Weber Adjunct Associate Professor, MSc (Germany), PhD (Germany)

Erdem Yazganoglu, Adjunct Assistant Professor, MD (Turkey), MSc (Leeds), MSc (Toronto)

Jennifer Zelmer, Adjunct Assistant Professor, BSc (Victoria), BA (McMaster), PhD (McMaster)




                                                        18
                                        FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I get into this program if I have a non-healthcare IT background?

Each application will be reviewed individually to determine eligibility. Those not meeting the basic requirements
may need to take additional courses at UVic or elsewhere prior to being considered for admission.

Is there financial assistance available?

The school does offer several entrance scholarships on a competitive basis for September entry students.
Generally, however, students are expected to have their own funds, or employer sponsorship.

Can I work full-time while taking this program?

You do not have to quit your job while taking this program, but you will need to make arrangements with your
employer to take time off to attend the on-campus workshops.

The departmental literature refers to this program as flexible –does this mean I can study as a part-time
student and pay part-time fees?

No, all Master’s students at the School of Health Information Science are considered to be full-time students.
The University of Victoria definition for a full-time student includes those who are registered in a project or
thesis, which is a requirement for the MSc in Health Informatics. However, there is a good deal of flexibility
within the program, within the university guidelines and limits for completion and fees. Speak with the graduate
secretary for more details.

How many hours a week should I expect to spend working on this program?

You should expect to spend between 8 to 10 hours each week working on this program. This would include
attending real-time virtual classes, engaging in online discussion forums, working on assignments and projects.

Do I have to attend all of the on campus workshops?

Yes, both workshops are mandatory for students in the distributed stream program as they are critical to
getting to know your fellow students and taking part in the face-to-face portions of some of the core courses in
the program.

Who should I contact if I have any further questions?

You can contact the department’s graduate program assistant at hisgrad@uvic.ca or (250) 721-6459. She can
answer most procedural questions you might have, or direct you to the appropriate person or department.

How do I contact the school?

Contact Info:

School of Health Information Science                Courier Address:
P.O. Box 3050 STN CSC                               3800 Finnerty Road, University of Victoria
University of Victoria                              British Columbia, Canada V8W 3P5
Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 3P5                        Phone: 250-721-6459
Phone: 250-721-6459; Fax: 250-472-4751              Attn: Grad Program Assistant
hisgrad@uvic.ca




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