Health Information Systems


This course intends to respond to health professionals’ growing need to develop skills required to address health information systems use and development challenges in health units (hospitals, regional health authorities, telemedicine, etc.), to meet the needs generated by government policies or projects development.
This unit aims to provide the skills in information systems field required in the context of healthcare organizations and to induce the basic notions of information usage, project development and management to improve health services performance. The intended outcomes are:
1. Identify types of information systems, information sources and models of information management in health services, and understand the foundations of information theory.
2. Explore the various methods of information management in the healthcare environment.
3. Explore the importance and barriers to decision, and the dependence on access to information in the context of the organization of health services and programs.
4. Show the use of a set of tools for decision support, based on access to information through information systems in the context of Health.
5. Analyze and diagnose needs of information systems, from the point of view of the management of health services.
6. Develop planning for implementation of projects of information systems in health.
7. Develop change management interventions to support the implementation of information systems.
8. Understanding the role of managers, information technicians, health professionals and other stakeholders in the development of the SI.
9. Understanding the dynamics of eHealth and social networks on Health (a European perspective and PALOPs).

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Luís Lapão


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 40

Teaching language

English and Portuguese


Not applicable


• Lapão, LV. Organizational Challenges and Barriers to Implementing IT Governance in a Hospital. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation. Volume 14 Issue 1, ECIME 2010 Special Issue / Jan 2011.
• K.A. Kuhn, D.A. Giuse, L.V. Lapão, S.H.R. Wurst, Expanding the Scope of Health Information Systems: From Hospitals to Regional Networks, to National Infrastructures, and Beyond, Methods of Information in Medicine, 46, 4, 500-2, 2007.
• Lapão, LV, “Survey on the status of Hospital Information Systems in Portugal”. Methods of Information in Medicine, 46, 4, 493-499,2007.
• Laudon K. and Laudon J. (2010) Management Information Systems, New Jersey: Pearson.
• Lewis T., Synowiec C., Lagomarsino G., Schweitzer J. (2012) E-health in low- and middle-income countries: findings from the Center for Health Market Innovations. Bull World Health Organ; 90: 332-340.
• Institute of Medicine. Crossing the Quaity Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. IOM; 2001.
• Shirley D. (2011) Project Management for Healthcare. CRC Press.
• Iles, V., and Sutherland, K. (2001). Managing change in the NHS. Organisational change: a review for health care managers, professionals, and researchers. London: NCCSDO.
• Christensen, C. M., Grossman, J. H., and Hwang, J. (2009). The innovator's prescription: a disruptive solution for health care. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Teaching method

Lectures, including:
1. Exposure of the matter and discussions with students;
2. Analysis of case studies and practical exercises.

Evaluation method

Assessment includes:
1. Three Individual essays on the three main themes of the course (60%);
2. Team Work project (40%).

Subject matter

I. Information and Knowledge Management:
a. Concepts of Information and Knowledge.
b. Models of Information Management.
c. Information Theory and Data Models.
d. Fundamentals of information and knowledge management.
e. Decision Theory and Models supported by information systems (IS).
II. Development of health information systems:
a. Fundamental concepts: opportunities and implementation difficulties.
b. IS Diagnosis and needs assessment.
c. Development Methodologies in IS in Healthcare (DSRM, agile, etc.).
d. Planning and active participation of professionals in the development of IS.
e. Change management Interventions associated with IS implementation.
f. Evaluation of the IS implementation.
g. The role of the CIO, health professionals, managers and the organization.
III. eHealth, Social Networking and Collaboration:
a. Fundamental concepts of Telemedicine, eHealth and mHealth (Portugal and PALOPs).
b. Development of telemedicine / eHealth services.
c. Technology and Web 2.0 social software: main features and impacts on collaborative work and learning.
d. Examples of tools to support communities of practice and networks: distribution lists (groups), wikispaces, twitter, blogs, integrators, the RSS and FEED.


Programs where the course is taught: