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92917 Using Health Care Data for Decision Making

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


This subject provides a supervised experience for graduate students to learn about making health service decisions using data. Students learn how to explore and manipulate data that are assembled to replicate real patient data to both generate and answer questions. The focus may be managerial or clinical, or an integration of these. Students analyse the assembled patient dataset to generate and interpret health statistics, and translate them into health information and knowledge for decision-making. Students completing this subject develop the ability to explore health data and provide recommendations based on the findings.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Access and manipulate supplied data in order to generate reports and make recommendations;
B. Identify and compare the relationship between data, information, knowledge and wisdom and how these elements inform practice, management, and policy in the context of international trends;
C. Examine and discuss the relationship between datasets and information literacy;
D. Explain the data elements in contemporary health data terminologies;
E. Create a variety of ways in which complex issues can be effectively communicated for a variety of target audiences.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Critique, interpret and synthesise data and research findings to develop safe, effective and evidence-based solutions to healthcare challenges (1.1)
  • Propose relevant problem-solving and human factors theories to the analysis of common issues inherent in the management and evaluation of healthcare services (1.2)
  • Justify and demonstrate appropriate leadership styles and skills necessary to manage, evaluate and innovate healthcare services utilising contemporary local, national and international perspectives (2.1)
  • Validate the importance of integrating stakeholder partnerships in all healthcare decision-making activities (3.2)
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately in challenging, complex and diverse situations (4.0)
  • Determine and recommend modes of communication necessary to optimise outcomes across differing audiences, purposes and contexts within healthcare practice (4.2)
  • Demonstrate respect and value for world view differences and in particular Australian Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing (5.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is taught using a variety of teaching and learning strategies. The strategies used emphasise active and applied approaches to developing students’ ability to understand health data and to use health data for decision making. An overarching theme of the approaches to teaching and learning is to support students to actively analyse an assembled patient dataset using Microsoft Excel in computer labs, where they can interact and receive feedback from the facilitator and other students.

Understanding and critical thinking skills related to health information will be encouraged via a range of activities, including:

Pre-class activities:

  • Online computer and Microsoft Excel assessments to prepare students to take part in related workshops available at UTS library.
  • Self-directed learning using on-line resources to prepare students to actively participate in lectures and computer lab activities.

Face-to-face activities:

  • Lectures and briefings, including:
    • Examples and illustrations of how health data is analysed and used in decision making.
    • In class discussions on students’ experiences with real health data issues.
  • Group activities to help students develop critical thinking abilities to identify possible problems that could result in poor quality data, and hands-on skills to solve these problems. Activities will include whole-class brainstorming, discussions, and demonstrations.


  • Advice and guidance on assessment tasks will be given during the face-to-face sessions and via email.
  • Real-time verbal feedback from lecturer/tutor and peers will be given in class during discussion sessions.
  • Written feedback will be given in assessments.

Content (topics)

The content of this subject includes:

  • Basic data analysis and presentation in Microsoft Excel
  • Minimum data sets, classifications and terminologies
  • Information literacy
  • Data linkage
  • Standardisation of data
  • Health Level 7 (HL7)
  • Health informatics
  • Unintended errors in technology
  • Privacy, security and confidentiality
  • Project management software & GANTT charts


Assessment task 1: Workbook Exercise


This assessment item focuses on the elements of administrative data and related key concepts and how to analyse health data.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.2 and 4.2

Type: Quiz/test
Weight: 20%

Online assessment using the supplied spreadsheet and other resources

  • 10% Accesses data in a supplied dataset to address questions and generate information
  • 25% Determines relevant elements in contemporary health data terminologies to guide data analysis
  • 25% Selects the most appropriate technique to analyse data
  • 40% Justifies conclusions from data analysis to inform practice and guide management decisions

Assessment task 2: Case Study


This assessment item focuses on the ability to concisely respond to specific questions and to demonstrate an understanding of the management and application of health data.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 3.2, 4.0 and 5.1

Type: Case study
Weight: 30%

Maximum 1000 words

  • 30% Clear definitions, descriptions and discussion of topics associated with the case scenario.
  • 10% Clear description of research aim and research questions.
  • 10% Clear description of method of analysis.
  • 25% Appropriate data presentation and description of findings.
  • 15% Interpretation and critical discussion of key findings and recommendation for practice.
  • 10% Produces correct grammar, spelling, formatting, style and referencing.

Assessment task 3: Analysis of supplied patient data


This assessment item focuses on the development of data analysis and presentation skills in order to make recommendations that are congruent with contemporary literature.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.2 and 4.2

Type: Report
Weight: 50%

Maximum 2500 words


10% Constructs a review of the literature to identify and discuss issues relevant to the topic

20% Designs a clear and logical data analysis strategy that is logically sequenced and structured and addresses the points raised in the topic

20% Performs an analysis of the supplied data in a manner consistent with the data analysis strategy to provide appropriate answers to the points raised in the topic

30% Recommends contemporary and achievable approaches to address the points raised in the topic

10% Validates perspectives through correct interpretation of relevant and current literature (> year 2008)

10% Produces correct grammar, spelling, formatting, style (report) and referencing

Required texts

There is no prescribed text for this subject. Links to references and electronic resources will be made available on UTSOnline.


Links to references and additional resources are provided on UTSOnline.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.