The Catholic University of America


Note: the course descriptions below are subject to change.

Core Courses

HIT 573 Information Systems in Health Care
3 Credits
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the application of information technology to health care information systems and health care organizations. The course provides an overview of four major components of this domain, which are (1) Health Care Information (2) Health Care Information Systems (3) Information Technology and (4) IT Management Challenges. Students are encouraged to think about the "How" and the "What" of health care information technology systems. The "How" refers to technology that supports health care information systems: data, standards, interoperability, data exchange and re-use, preservation, access, discovery, security, and privacy of clinical data/information (EMR or EHR). The "What" refers to an introduction to the types of health care information data (clinical administrative and combination) and data/information quality. The course provides a historical context for health information systems or data stores and how health care organizations and professionals use these systems to deliver patient care, conduct clinical research or manage the economics of health care. At the intersection of the "How" and "What" the course introduces students to the life cycle and implementation of health care information systems, government regulation and IT challenges that are faced by senior management health care administrators and technologists. Finally the course provides the health information science student with an introduction to e-science, cyber-infrastructure for data driven science and the evolution of scholarly communication and publishing.

HIT 577 E-Health
3 Credits
This course will introduce students to an emerging field of medical informatics that deals with the organization and delivery of health services and information using the Internet and related technologies. In a broader sense, e-Health characterizes not only a technical development, but also a new way of working, an attitude, and a commitment for networked, global thinking, to improve health care locally, regionally, and worldwide by using information and communication technology.

Emphasis will be placed on telemedicine, telehealth and telecare services, wearable and portable monitoring systems, mobile and personal connected health tools, remote patient monitoring services, and Internet-enabled applications for chronic diseases which could help increase citizen empowerment in health maintenance and decision making support self-care.

Other topics that will be covered are:

  • The role of technology in improving patient-provider communication and patient education
  • Use of various audio/video tools to enable "smart medical practice"
  • The challenges of creating and developing systems within a low-bandwidth environment;
  • The potential for open source collaboration, thus allowing public health agencies to leverage low or no cost solutions
  • The prospect for supporting wider health system reform and broader quality improvement though the introduction of appropriate systems

Through review and analysis of case studies, discussions with practitioners, and actual hands-on with the various hardware used for telemedicine, students will be able to gain experience in assessing and articulating requirements for a variety of types of electronic systems, from mobile (i.e., handheld) “point-of-care” systems to support clinical care to national surveillance systems.

HIT 673 Health Information Technology: Security and Data Exchange
3 Credits
This course introduces students to security and data exchange theory, principles, standards, and methods as they relate to electronic medical record systems. Through lectures, discussions and individual assignments students learn the critical role of information security and data exchange. Topics covered include security risk and vulnerabilities, issues of law, privacy and security (HIPAA), controls and protection methods, information ethics, encryption, authentication technologies, and legal and financial issues impacting personal medical information. Areas of particular focus include security risk assessment and health information exchange formation.

HIT 675 Health Project Management
3 Credits
Introduces students to the principles of project management and the knowledge, skills and framework for managing health care initiatives. Covers how to evaluate the impact and viability of proposed initiatives and develop goals and objectives. Includes marketing of services, involvement of stakeholders in design of projects, needs assessment, management of human and financial resources, and strategic planning.

Mid-level Courses

HIT 677 Electronic Medical Records
3 Credits
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basics of Electronic Health Records (EHR), as well as their implementation, practice, and use in current clinical applications and medical research. Students will develop a thorough understanding of the need for EHR's in today's fast-paced medical environment, as well as the Federal and multi-state rules and regulations surrounding their implementation and use. Students will gain an understanding of workflow design surrounding an EHR in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. Students will be introduced to EHR training in the clinical environment as well as problems and roadblocks that may be presented in their implementation. Finally, students will be introduced to EHR's place in clinical and translational research and how the IT professional plays a key role in this space. This class is presented as both lecture and lab in order to give the student hands-on experience with an EHR package.

HIT 679 Enterprise Architecture
3 Credits
Introduces students to the theoretical principles and practical steps related to the design, selection, implementation, and management of enterprise IM/IT (applications, systems, and business and management processes), collectively called enterprise architecture (EA). Topics  will be introduced in a healthcare framework and include:  EA frameworks, models, strategies and tools for infrastructure management, legacy system integration, service oriented architecture, data models, metadata, and cloud computing.

HIT 694A Independent Study*
3 Credits
Opportunity for concentrated study in health care information, under the direction of a member of the full-time faculty. Before registration, the topic for study must be approved by the instructor involved. Permission may be granted to take two independent study courses in one semester.  A maximum of seven hours of independent study may be taken as part of the MS-HIT program. 

HIT 771 Health Care Policy, Organization, and Financing
3 Credits
Focuses on a critical examination of the delivery and financing of health care, from international, national, and state perspectives. Emphasis on the role of government, consumers, providers, payers, and processes influencing health care. Department consent required.

HIT 772 Database Management
3 Credits
Introduction to the terminology, concepts and practice of information storage and retrieval systems design. Special emphasis on user needs assessments, data integrity, data models and record structure, and data manipulation. Other topics include: current awareness of relational database model, query languages, data normalization techniques, client-server systems, database warehousing and data mining. Practice in developing a small database application.

HIT 773 Systems Analysis & Design
3 Credits
This course is designed to prepare students to participate in the analysis, design, acquisition, use and evaluation of healthcare information systems. It is designed for students who work or plan to work as systems analysts and related professional roles; for managers who want to better apply information systems in their organizations; and for others who use information systems in their organizations and wish to understand them better. The course is organized around a Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) model. Students will gain practical experience applying the SDLC model and related techniques by undertaking a team project based on a real organizational need.


HIT 775 Information Technologies and Project Management*
3 Credits
Provides students with strategies for evaluating, developing, and implementing information technologies and applications in various types of information environments. Technologies covered may include search engines; information, asset and knowledge management systems; and social and collaborative environments. The goals of the course are to provide students with the resources and methodologies they will need to evaluate, select, develop, and manage systems. This course builds on the foundations of the core courses and emphasizes organizational differences and the roles of information professionals.

HIT 778 Programming for Web Applications*
3 Credits
Introduces the concepts and techniques for developing Web-based applications. Emphasis is placed on programming techniques and the basics of database technology required for designing Web-based application interface and managing data on the Web. Students will learn the basics of a computer programming language through hands-on exercises and projects. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to explain basic programming concepts and techniques and important concepts for the development of dynamic web applications, describe important concepts related to dynamic web applications, explain the relationship of web programming to systems analysis and a systems development lifecycle (SDLC), create and debug dynamic web applications that accept input from a user, extract data from a database, and synthesize the results into dynamically generated HTML pages, and articulate strategies for professional development and ongoing learning about web programming.

Specialized Courses

HIT 870 Health Sciences Information*
3 Credits
Introduces students to a wide variety of health and healthcare information resources intended for clinicians, researchers, patients, caregivers, policy makers, and the public. In the broad area of health sciences, the course focuses on print and digital resources in selected sub-areas: medicine, nursing, allied health, evidence-based medicine, health literacy and education, consumer health, environmental health, public health, health statistics, health information technology, and bioethics. Resources discussed include general reference collections, databases, Web portals, digital collections, eBooks, and reports. Major topics include:

  • Health care system in the US and health sciences research
  • Organization of health sciences resources for access
  • Information needs and behaviors of healthcare professionals and consumers
  • Resources for healthcare professionals (broadly defined)
  • Health information for consumers
  • Strategies for finding information in the health sciences areas to address user needs
  • Evaluation of information resources on health and related subjects
  • Health literacy
  • Creation of Web portals for health information
  • Bioethics and biomedical research
  • Strategies for keeping current and monitoring changes in the information environment

HIT 871 Health Informatics

3 Credits
Introduces students to the role of digital information resources and collaborative tools in diagnosis, treatment and research. Examines how health information technology can address healthcare problems, support the information needs and communication patterns of healthcare professionals, and bridge the gap between research and practice. Topics include:

  • Definitions and scope of health informatics; applications from the bedside to the research lab
  • Policies, standards, interoperability, clinical translational science programs
  • Bioinformatics:  databases, impact of computational biology
  • Programs to support the practice of evidence-based medicine
  • eScience and collaborative workspaces
  • Data warehousing/ data curation/ archiving of data sets

HIT 873 Human Computer Interaction
3 Credits
This course explains how to use design and evaluation techniques to develop successful user interfaces for information systems and other interactive technologies. Students will develop an understanding of the cognitive principles and social issues that affect human-computer interaction. Topics covered include: understanding users and interaction, design strategies, iterative prototyping, formative and summative evaluation, and usability testing. Through a team project, students will apply and refine their knowledge, prototyping and evaluating the design of a user interface for a real-world system.

HIT 878 Capstone Research Project
3 Credits
Provides opportunities for students to develop and implement a research project in a selected healthcare environment under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Students will use the project to demonstrate reflective learning, analysis, synthesis, and integration of knowledge for advanced practice, and their ability to communicate effectively in writing. Taken during the final semester of study. Department consent required.

* An asterisk Indicates that the course is not part of the standard HIT sequence