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Special Topic Courses

This page contains descriptions for special topics offered at SILS (regularly offered courses are listed separately). Special topics courses are developed to cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in the main curriculum. Not all courses are offered each semester. See the course schedule links on the right menu to see availability.

Special Topic Course Descriptions: Fall 2024

CHIP 490-261 Health Care Systems in the US; David Potenziani; 3 credits
This course will introduce students to the breadth and complexity of the US health care system. We will look at the functioning parts of how and who delivers health care beginning with a global perspective to provide some context. Then we will examine the institutions where care is delivered, the people who provide those services, and the medicines, devices and technologies involved. All of these exist within, outside, and strongly influenced by government policies and pro grams from the federal level to the states and down to local jurisdictions. With this basis in hand, then we turn our attention to financing all the above— a sector of the domestic economy that sees $3.5 trillion spent each year—more per capita than any country on earth, by far. We will examine what outcomes we get for our money and methods used to assess system performance. These developments will be examined in a selection of states and counties offering a cross-section of the nation. We will then explore the development of the health care system we have today by tracing the roots of our system to understand the “why” undergirding its form, financing, and operation. The course will include two group projects to study the health care system at the county level and then examine those jurisdictions’ experience with the Covid-19 pandemic.

CHIP 490-297 Database Systems in Healthcare; Jon Tweedy; 3 credits
Students will learn about the Fast Health Interoperability Resources standard and how to develop freestanding and embedded applications that leverage it to work with APIs and demo EHR environments using languages like JavaScript and Python.

CHIP 490-307 Human Factors in Healthcare;  Prithima Mosaly; 3 credits

Healthcare system performance is impacted by human capabilities and limitations and the affordance and constraints presented by system technology (hardware and software). As healthcare delivery processes and technologies become increasingly complex, human factors engineering has proven a powerful approach for proactively reducing harm.

Human Factors Engineering incorporates knowledge of human capabilities and limitations into systems to make them more efficient, effective, and safe. Understanding the role of healthcare workers [clinical and non-clinical], patients, and their families/care providers and their needs in the complex socio-technical healthcare system is vital for achieving a well-balanced human-system integration. Understanding their everyday performance variability and adaptation behaviors to respond to varying conditions helps identify the reason when things go right (Safety-II) versus when a rare safety event happens (Safety-I).

Human Factors in healthcare course focuses on the use of human factors engineering methods to identify and mitigate system problems that cause human errors and patient safety hazards in healthcare. Basic principles and a variety of human factors tools are discussed and demonstrated through hands-on exercises and examples.

CHIP 490-309 – Quality Improvement Data Visualization in Healthcare; Shaghayegh Rezaei- Arangdad; 3 credits

You will learn the basic concepts of quality improvement with special emphasis on healthcare applications. In this course we will use many examples from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, leading hospitals, and other healthcare organizations.
This course will cover many other current leading quality management practices including continuous quality improvement, Lean, and Six Sigma.
You will get hands-on experience using some data visualization tools with the focus on Tableau software. You will get an understanding of Tableau’s fundamental concepts and features: how to connect to data sources, use Tableau’s drag-and-drop interface, and create compelling visualizations.

CHIP 490-310 Data Analytics in Healthcare; Payal Mehndiratta; 1.5 credits

This course will provide an overview of Data Analysis and reporting, via BigQuery. The course will review several use cases in healthcare. The course is project-oriented and will require students to understand the requirements before analyzing the data for designing and integrating data from multiple sources or reporting purposes.  The course will also focus on some test case scenarios based on the requirements when a new dataset is created. While no specific courses are considered prerequisites, students should have an understanding of SQL. Prior experience in excel and SQL is strongly recommended.

CHIP 490-311 Systems Analysis in Healthcare (3 credits, in-person)
Selina Sharmin – No description available

CHIP 490-314 – Quality Improvement and Lean Six Sigma; Shaghayegh Rezaei- Arangdad; 3 credits

Statistical Engineering and a systematic approach to problem solving Lean Six Sigma philosophy (DMAIC) for improving healthcare and business processes using advanced graphical and statistical models.  Defining the improvement opportunity, measurement system analysis, data collection, statistical analysis, design of experiment (DOE) methods, and statistical process control (SPC) methods.  Applications of statistical engineering to healthcare case studies

CHIP 490-320 Systems Analysis in Healthcare; Selina Sharmin; 3 credits

Introduction to the systems approach to the design and development of heath information systems, understanding systems analysis in healthcare. Methods and techniques for the analysis and modelling of system functionality (e.g., structured analysis) and data represented in the system (e.g., object-oriented analysis) are studied.

CHIP 490-333: Intro to Public Health Informatics; Amy Ising; 3 credits

This course provides students with an overview of the concept, science, application, and significance of public health informatics. It will include in-depth discussions on prevailing public health information systems in use today, including, but not limited to, disease surveillance systems and their relationships within the broader health care system. Students will hear from professionals working or conducting research in the above areas.

CHIP 490 Intro to Programming (3 credits, TBA on ConnectCarolina)

Introduction to programming and computational concepts. Students will learn to write programs using constructs such as iteration, flow control, variables, functions, and error handling. No programming experience required.

INLS 490-308: Semiotics of Culture; Fox, Michael; 3 credits

Semiotics, or the study of signs and the conveyance of meaning, may be considered as foundational to a wide array of disciplines, including, and perhaps especially, information science. In this course, you will learn the basics of semiotic theory and how it is applied to various cultural forms: everyday things and their mythologies, the so-called semiosphere, advertisements and press photographs, mass media in general, and art, film, and new media, including code.

INLS 690-209: Misinformation and Society; Tripodi, Francesca; 3 credits

How do we know what we think we know? This course will examine the concept of mis-dis-mal-information over time – what it is, when it occurs, and how ideas of “truth” and “facts” are connected to the social construction of knowledge more generally. Readings and assignments will consider the sociotechnical dimensions of disinformation, examining how/why false narratives are created, believed, shared, and used for political and/or monetary gain. Finally, we will study the democratic implications of problematic content with an emphasis on understanding the ideological nature of falsehoods surrounding the 2024 Presidential Election in the U.S. Through a contextualization of misinformation, we will work toward proposing possible solutions for how we might fix or combat an ever-present and evolving problem as well as use hands-on learning to discover what makes an effective disinformation campaign.

INLS 690-222: Social Informatics; Jarrahi, Mohammad; 3 credits

Understanding technological innovation, computerization, and the context of technology use are central to comprehending the social fabrics of our today’s society. The object of this course is to explore different conceptualizations of how technology plays a role in shaping organizations, communities, and societies. We will draw on multiple theoretical developments from the field of Science and Technology Studies (e.g., actor-network theory and social construction of technology), social informatics and computer-supported cooperative work to enable a better understanding of the interaction between humans and technology at personal, organizational and societal levels.

This course involves reading, reflecting and discussing some classic sociotechnical work, along with research emphasizing the application of a sociotechnical perspective in understanding the role of information and communication technologies, and knowledge communities. This course helps [graduate] students gain a broad and conceptual understanding about sociotechnical issues and theories. More specifically it enables students to understand and explain the complexities inherent in the context of technology use and the many ways individuals, groups, organizations adopt and relate to ICTs.

INLS 690-269: Queer Archives and Libraries; Ott, Elizabeth; 1.5 credits (class meets October 14 through December 4, 2024)

This is course covers the history of collecting, preserving, and describing LGBTQ materials in archives and libraries. The course considers the history of LGBTQ grassroots collecting and community archives (e.g. the Lesbian Herstory Archives), as well as formal institutional collections (e.g. the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University or the LGBTQIA archives at the San Francisco Public Library). Additionally, the course reviews the ethical challenges associated with documenting queer sexuality and identity, and centers theoretical approaches to library work that use a queer lens, such as queer archival methodology and queer bibliography.