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OHSU Online · School of Medicine

The Practice of Health Care

  • Fall 2019
  • 3 Credits
  • 09/23/2019 to 12/13/2019
  • Modified 09/21/2019


This course introduces the medical informatics student to the clinical practice of healthcare, including
• The underlying biology and manifestations of selected disease states;
• The information-gathering and reasoning processes used to detect, understand, and treat diseases;
• The health professionals who provide and support care;
• The clinical settings in which care takes place.

The objective is to enable non-clinicians to understand the context, the vocabulary, and some of the challenges for supporting clinical work in real settings with informatics tools.

Prerequisite: None
Offering: On Campus: Fall; Online: Fall

This syllabus is forBMI 530 OL F19,BMI 630 OL F19

Contact Information

Dian Chase PhD, FNP

Meeting Times

Discussion (mini lectures online)

For PhD students: Thursdays, 3:00 to 4:45pm - BICC 513

For Master's students: Thursdays, 5:00 to 6:45pm - BICC 513

There will (hopefully) be one simulation session - all students should try to attend - more details to come


Reading assignments include chapters from a required textbook, occasional articles or handouts, and independent reading for projects and clinical questions.  Once you have looked at the case, the readings will help you make sense of it. Students are responsible for all content in the assigned readings, whether discussed in the lectures or not.



Pathophysiology Made Incredibly Easy

  • Author: Rebar, Heimgartner, and Gersch
  • Publisher: Lippicott and Williams
  • Edition: 6th
  • ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1496398246 ISBN-10: 1496398246

Course Goals

At the end of this course the student's ability to work within a healthcare context will be significantly improved by:

- learning some of the basics of pathophysiology and, more importantly, knowing how to look up and decipher concepts and processes that are new

- understanding the clinical process and workflow - how clinicians acquire, analyze, and apply the data they need to care for patients

- experiencing some of the challenges inherent in the environment in which clinicians work.

Students will be able to incorporate this knowledge into the design of tools for use by clinicians,  in the development of grant applications, and in their day to day interactions with clinicians.



The assessment of student performance will be based on:

- posts on the discussion forums (3 per week, must cite sources using Vancouver formatting): 30%

- active participation in synchronous discussion sessions: 10%

- disease and clinician projects: 20% each for a total of 40% (see course materials for criteria)

- final examination: 20%

This class, like healthcare, requires collaboration and teamwork. You are not competing with one another.  If everyone deserves an A, everyone gets an A.  Win-win.

Grades are assigned based on the following criteria:

93-100                   A
90-92                    A-
87-89                    B+
83-86                    B
80-82                    B-            
77-79                    C+
73-76                    C
70-72                    C-
<70                       D


Flipped Classroom

We use a “flipped classroom” approach in this class.  Cases are presented to stimulate inquiry in support of understanding what is wrong with a particular patient and how we might help them.  Readings in the textbook help make sense of the case, supported by online videos from this class and other sources.  Then we use discussion and class time to answer questions, explain and discuss complex issues, and solve sample problems that help us see how to apply this knowledge.  Projects allow us to explore more material in a learner-centered fashion.

Cases and scenarios

Cases allow you to experience some of the dilemmas clinicians face daily.  You are not expected to “solve” the cases – that’s often not the point in clinical practice anyway.  You are expected to use the readings, discussion, lecture, and the web to try to understand what’s going on.  We encourage the use of library resources (many e-textbooks are available through the OHSU library).  Cases include a variety of thinking challenges.  Students will post their ideas on Sakai by Monday at 5 pm of the week following assignment. They will make a second post by midnight on Wednesday responding to the posts by other students.

There is no single correct answer for these clinical cases – often clinicians do not agree on diagnosis, management, or prognosis.  Rather, grading is based on the student’s demonstration of their thought processes – how they select and organize information using approaches discussed in class to analyze and interpret information, and show their reasoning and rationale for conclusions or recommendations. 

In addition to cases, students will choose two pathophysiology scenarios per week to answer online.  These will be submitted no later than Wednesday at 5pm of the week following assignment.

Unlike the other activities in the course, cases and scenarios are graded on a pass/marginal/no pass basis.   Responses should build on the previous comments of other students.  Vigorous (but polite) discussion is encouraged.  Performance that fails to meet the basic objectives of the assignment or a second marginally acceptable assignment will result in a failing grade for the assignment.  Each successful submission (three per week possible) will gain 1 point towards the final grade (three points per week, 30 points total).


Participation in group discussions is an essential activity that enriches the learning through the diverse experience and perspectives of the students.  The flipped classroom will give you a chance to participated in the synchronous discussions and your participation score will be based on that portion, there are also points given for your participation in the cases and in the sample problems.  Jump in and have your say!


Two projects are to be completed each term - a written paper on a specific disease and a report on a clinic shadowing experience, including presentation to the entire class.  See Course Materials for details of the projects.


A final exam is given the last week of class.

School Policies and Resources

Graduate Studies Guidelines:

Students are responsible for following all OHSU School of Medicine, Graduate Studies, and program/department guidelines & policies. For more information, please visit here. For program/department guidelines & policies, please inquiry with the program/department director and/or coordinator.

School of Medicine Conduct Policy (housed under the graduate studies guidelines section)

Students are responsible for their own academic work. Students are expected to have read and practice principles of academic honesty, as presented in the Graduate Studies Student Handbook.

The School of Medicine reserves the privilege of retaining only those students who, in the judgement of the faculty, satisfy the requirements of scholarship and clinical performance necessary to maintain the highest standards. The Student Handbook has information about academic standards and probation and dismissal policies.

Grading Criteria, Academic Standards, & Release of Final Grades:

Graduate Studies in the OHSU School of Medicine is committed to providing grades to students in a timely manner. Course instructors will provide students with information in writing at the beginning of each course that describes the grading policies and procedures including but not limited to evaluation criteria, expected time needed to grade individual student examinations and type of feedback they will provide.

All coursework applied towards degree requirements must meet the minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.

Refer to the School of Medicine Graduate Studies Forms & Policies for withdraw, incomplete, and in-progress grading standards. Final course grades will be posted with the OHSU Registrar the Monday following the last day of the term. On those occasions when a grade has not been submitted by the deadline, the following procedure shall be followed:

  1. The Department*/Program** Coordinator will immediately contact the Instructor requesting the missing grade, with a copy to the Program Director and Registrar.
  2. If the grade is still overdue by the end of next week, the Department*/Program** Coordinator will email the Department Chair directly, with a copy to the Instructor and Program Director requesting resolution of the missing grade.
  3. If, after an additional week the grade is still outstanding, the student or Department*/Program** Coordinator may petition the Office of Graduate Studies for final resolution.

*For courses that are run by a specific department.

**For the conjoined courses (course number is preceded by CON) that are run by Graduate Studies.

Graduate Studies Inclement Weather Procedures

Inclement weather procedures can be found here. In the case of inclement weather, the faculty member will email or place a voice-mail greeting on her/his office telephone number by 6:00am on the day of the clinical or class to give instructions to students about the class schedule.

Graduate Studies Copyright Information

Every reasonable effort has been made to protect the copyright requirements of materials used in this course. Class participants are warned not to copy, audio, or videotape in violation of copyright laws. Journal articles will be kept on reserve at the library or online for student access. Copyright law does allow for making one personal copy of each article from the original article. This limit also applies to electronic sources.

DMICE Communication Policy

  1. If the syllabus directs the student to contact the TA before contacting the instructor, the student should do so. Otherwise, the student should contact the instructor and allow 2 business days (not including weekends) for a response.
  2. If the student does not receive a response from the instructor within 2 business days, s/he should contact the TA (if there is one). When contacting the TA s/he should cc the instructor and Diane Doctor at [email protected].
  3. If a student does not receive a response from the TA within 1 business day (not including weekends), s/he should contact Diane Doctor at [email protected] and cc the instructor and the TA.
  4. If Diane does not reply within 1 business day (not including weekends), the student should contact Andrea Ilg at [email protected].
  5. Students having difficulties with Sakai should contact the Sakai Help Desk at [email protected] or at (877) 972-5249. Sakai help is available M-F from 8am to 10-pm and weekends from Noon to 5pm. Do not contact the instructor.

When Problems Arise

It is critical to contact the appropriate person when problems arise:

  • For basic Sakai problems and course issues (e.g., cannot log in, after-hours technical assistance, Course Materials or Forum not available/accessible during regular business hours/days), contact the Sakai Help Desk: Toll-Free - (877) 972-5249; email - [email protected] Sakai help is available M-F from 8 am to 9 pm and weekends from Noon to 5pm.

  • For questions about course content (e.g., do not understand a topic or disagree with homework quiz answer), contact the Teaching Assistant, who will be announced at the beginning of the course: go to the Email Tab after logging into the course and choose “Associate” role to send message to the TA or post a question in the Forums.

Examination Policy

It is OHSU policy that any exam offered online and worth more than 10% of the final course grade must be virtually proctored. In this course, we will be using the services of Examity, a remote proctoring services company. You will be required to schedule your exam three (3) weeks ahead of time. There is no cost to the student. More information will be provided to you regarding setup, scheduling, and requirements in the Course Materials.

Policy number: 02-70-050

Turn It In

In an effort to uphold the principles and practice of academic honesty, faculty members at OHSU may use originality checking systems such as Turnitin to compare a student’s submitted work against multiple sources. To protect student privacy in this process, it will be necessary to remove all personal information, i.e. student name, email address, student u-number, or any other personal information, from documents BEFORE submission.

Sakai and TLC Help Desk

You will learn through the Sakai learning management software at The online component includes reading material, lectures (including streaming presentations and handouts), project material, learning assignments, and online discussions.  If you have any technical questions or if you need help logging in, please contact the Sakai Help Desk, which is open Mon – Fri, 8 am – 9 pm and weekends 12 pm – 5 pm, Pacific Time.

Contact Information:

(Toll-free) 877-972-5249


(Email) [email protected]

Online Etiquette

Please use professional etiquette when communicating with peers and the instructor. This means avoiding aggressive or offensive language, showing respect for others’ opinions and positions, and conducting yourself as if you were face to face with them. Please pay special attention to etiquette in class forums and when using email. If you notice someone violating this policy, please make the instructor and TA aware of the problem.

OHSU Competencies

List of OHSU Graduation Core Competencies
  1. Professional Knowledge and Skills
  2. Reasoning and Judgement
  3. Evidence-Based Practice and Research
  4. Lifelong Learning
  5. Communication
  6. Professionalism and Ethics
  7. Teamwork
  8. Safety and Quality Improvement
  9. Systems
  10. Patient/Client-Centered Care (Clinical)
To access a descriptive list of OHSU Graducation Core Competencies:  OHSU Graduation Core Competencies

Institutional Policies and Resources

Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities:

OHSU is committed to inclusive and accessible learning environments in compliance with federal and state law. If you have a disability or think you may have a disability (mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts) contact the Office for Student Access at (503) 494-0082 or OHSU Student Access to have a confidential conversation about academic accommodations. Information is also available at Student Access Website. Because accommodations may take time to implement and cannot be applied retroactively, it is important to have this discussion as soon as possible.

Portland State students also have similar resources available via the PSU Disability Resource Center (website ). Please contact the DRC at tel. (503) 725-4150 or email at [email protected]

Student Evaluation of Courses:

Course evaluation results are extremely important and used to help improve courses and the learning experience of future students. Responses will always remain anonymous and will only be available to instructors after grades have been posted. The results of scaled questions and comments go to both the instructor and their unit head/supervisor. Refer to Student Evaluation of Courses and Instructional Effectiveness, *Policy No. 02-50-035.

*To access the OHSU Student Evaluation of Courses and Instructional Effectiveness Policy, you must log into the OHSU O2 website.

Copyright Information:

Copyright laws and fair use policies protect the rights of those who have produced the material. The copy in this course has been provided for private study, scholarship, or research. Other uses may require permission from the copyright holder. The user of this work is responsible for adhering to copyright law of the U.S. (Title 17, U.S. Code). To help you familiarize yourself with copyright and fair use policies, the University encourages you to visit its Copyright Web Page

Sakai course web sites contain material protected by copyrights held by the instructor, other individuals or institutions. Such material is used for educational purposes in accord with copyright law and/or with permission given by the owners of the original material. You may download one copy of the materials on any single computer for non-commercial, personal, or educational purposes only, provided that you (1) do not modify it, (2) use it only for the duration of this course, and (3) include both this notice and any copyright notice originally included with the material. Beyond this use, no material from the course web site may be copied, reproduced, re-published, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way without the permission of the original copyright holder. The instructor assumes no responsibility for individuals who improperly use copyrighted material placed on the web site.

Syllabi Changes and Retention:

Syllabi are considered to be a learning agreement between students and the faculty of record. Information contained in syllabi, other than the minimum requirements, may be subject to change as deemed appropriate by the faculty of record in concurrence with the academic program and the Office of the Provost. Refer to the *Course Syllabi Policy, 02-50-050.

*To access the OHSU Course Syllabus Policy, you must log into the OHSU O2 website.

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion:

OHSU is committed to creating and fostering a learning and working environment based on open communication and mutual respect. If you encounter sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, age, national origin, veteran’s status, ancestry, sex, marital status, pregnancy or parenting status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or any other protected status please contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or [email protected]. Inquiries about Title IX compliance or sex/gender discrimination and harassment may be directed to the OHSU Title IX Coordinator at 503-494-0258 or [email protected]

Modified Operations, Policy 01-40-010:

Portland Campus:  Marquam Hill and South Waterfront

Students should review O2 or call OHSU’s weather alert line at 503-494-9021 for the most up-to-date information on OHSU-wide modified operations which include but are not limited to delays or closures for inclement weather.

If your home institution is not on the Portland campus (Marquam Hill or South Waterfront, contact your home institution for more information.

OHSU Resources Available to Students*:

Registrar’s Office
Mackenzie Hall, Rm. 1120
503-494-7800; Email the Registrar

Student Registration Information: 
To Register for Classes

OHSU ITG Help Desk
Regular staff hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, but phones are answered seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Call 503 494-2222.

Teaching and Learning Center
Academic Support Counseling and Sakai Course Management System, please contact the TLC Help Desk at 877-972-5249 or email TLC Help Desk

Concourse Syllabus Management
For help with accessing your Concourse Syllabus:  Please contact the Sakai help Desk for all other Concourse inquiries please visit the Concourse Tutorial Website or please contact the Mark Rivera at [email protected] or call 503-494-0934

Public Safety

OHSU Public Safety-Portland Campus (Marquam Hill and South Waterfront)

*Joseph B. Trainer Health & Wellness Center 
Baird Hall, Rm. 18 (Primary Care) and Rm. 6 (Behavioral Health)
503-494-8665; For urgent care after hours, 503-494-8311 and ask for the Nurse on call.
Wellness Center Information  
Wellness Center Website

If your home institution is not on the Portland campus, contact your home institution student support services for more information.

Ombudsman Office
Gaines Hall, Rm. 117
707 SW Gaines Street, Portland, OR 97239
503-494-5397; Contact OmbudsmanOmbudsman Website

Library: Biomedical Information Communication Center
BICC Library Hours of Operation

Additional Items