The implementation of information systems will not only greatly enhance the quality of health care but also radically change the nature of health care. This course will look at health care as a distributed system composed of groups of people interacting with each other and with information technology. Two major areas will be covered in the course. The first area is computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), which is defined as computer assisted coordinated activity such as reasoning, problem solving, decision-making, routine tasks and communication carried out by a group of collaborating individuals who interact with complex information technology. Most health information systems (such as EMR) are large group-wares that support large numbers of synchronous and asynchronous users with diverse backgrounds in the executions of many different types of tasks. The second area is the social impact of information technology. This area will focus on the impact of the Internet on health care, such as the functions and impacts of virtual communities, online health groups, and telehealth care through the web.
Upon successfully completing this course, students will: