This course introduces students to design and use of health and medical databases.  It provides hands-on experience with use of Microsoft Access and MySQL databases.  It explores use of electronic medical records and examines the application of information systems to clinical and managerial transactions.  Students learn to create, maintain and analyze healthcare databases.  Applications to analysis of data in electronic health records to clinical decision aids are discussed.  Overview Video►

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of the course participants should be able to:

  • Effectively manage healthcare information using MS Access database tool.
  •  Design healthcare databases.
  • Structure queries and reports to describe complex relationships between fields in healthcare databases.
  • Optimize data structures and tables that eliminate duplication, unnecessary data entry, and confusion.
  • Import, export, and link data tables across platforms.
  • Merge, analyze, and query healthcare databases to produce new information.

Program Competencies Addressed

For an overview of competencies needed for management of health information systems, see some of these resources:  Slides► Listen► MP4► You Tube► Read►

  • Q4. Analyze the purpose, benefits, applications, and evaluation of clinical information systems
  • Q5. Analyze the purpose, benefits, applications, and evaluation of management information systems
  • Q.6 Use information systems to plan improvements in the quality and safety of patient care
  • A.4 Apply quantitative methods and evidence from research studies to assist in making management decisions and assessing the quality of patient care

Required Textbooks

  • None.  All required reading is posted to the web.  Use the instructor's last name to gain access to password protected items.

Recommended Textbooks

  • Hernandez MJ.  Database design for mere mortals, a hands-on guide to relational database design More►
  • Taylor AG.  SQL for dummies:  A reference for the rest of us.  More

Course Requirements

  • A bachelor or higher degree from an accredited University. The course is limited to graduate students.

  • Familiarity with the US health care system. All examples are from the US health care system.

  • Computer, modem, microphone, speaker, phone line and Internet connection.  A fast computer and modem will save you considerable time in this course.

  • Daily use of email, including ability to attach files to emails.

  • Microsoft Power Point is needed for viewing some portions of reading and reporting on projects.

  • A microphone is need to narrate Power Point slides

  • Both clinicians and managers are encouraged to enroll.

Teaching Methods/Strategies

This course is organized on the principles of "Learn one, Do one, Teach one."   Students learn by listening to recorded lectures or interacting with the face to face or online instructors.  The learning is reinforced by asking students to teach within a topic. More►

Course Evaluation

Participation is key to making the experience of everyone a pleasant one. Participation means that you need to review all course sections and complete all exercises provided on a timely basis (maximum of one week after lecture date), ask questions about the topic and evaluate the topic presentations.  Weekly assignments are graded as pass/fail. 

Assignment Percent
of Grade
Individual assignments 25%
Team assignments 35%
Teach one assignment 15%
Final project 25%

Here is how the letter grades will be assigned:


Letter Grade




A -


B +




B -



70 -


Topical Outline

  1. Introduction and Software Download More►
  2. Basic SQL and Data Cleaning More►
  3. SQL for Predictive Models More►
  4. Accuracy of Predictions More►
  5. Procedures and Nested Queries More►
  6. Repeated SQL and Query Optimization More►
  7. Normalization and Entity Relationship Diagrams More►
  8. Review and Reporting of Data More►

Are You Receiving Our Emails?

If you have enrolled in this course, you would receive weekly or more frequent communications from the course faculty.  If you are not receiving these emails, then we must have a wrong email for you.  Please contact your instructor Email►

This page is part of the course on Clinical databases.  It was first created in 1996.  It was last edited on 08/28/2018 by Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D.  Copyright protected.