Title Clinical Systems Technologies and Applications
Type Stage Two
Code HBI123
Requirement Compulsory

Module objective

Clinical Bioinformatics (Health Informatics) scientists will need to understand the functionality of the systems/applications that relate to their work area of specialism and also be aware of any other systems in that discipline/department and those that may interwork with their area. Historically, clinical systems may have been stand-alone, perhaps embedded in clinical equipment. Frequently now such systems exchange data with/feed into or draw data from other systems about which Clinical Scientists (especially those in Health Informatics) need at least a basic understanding of the interworking systems. That knowledge will variously cover: non-technical issues (stakeholder involvement) and technological deployment, operational functions of individual systems, data structures and data sensitivity, and the parameters for effective, safe interoperability.

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will have expert knowledge and skills in the operation of clinical systems that they operate and with which they interact, the broad functionality of interoperable systems that interact with their specialist area of expertise, and will set clinical systems and solutions in the wider context of NHS utilisation of technology. Underlying their knowledge and clinical practice will be the requirement to conform with legislation and good practice guidelines with respect to privacy, data protection, confidentiality and quality management required to ensure systems are robust. As part of this Clinical Scientists will also develop a full understanding of issues surrounding the ‘digital divide’ and be able to devise strategies required to reduce digital illiteracy and improving health literacy.

They will be responsible for their own working practice and the appropriate (ethical and professional) handling of the level and type of data that they work with, and will consistently demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for the role of a CCS.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and critically apply their expert knowledge of clinical systems, technologies and applications, and the contributions made by clinical solutions (systems and applications), including:

  • The contribution made by clinical solutions (systems, technology and applications) to the health enterprise domain currently.
  • The capability of current technologies, such as: mobile technologies; ambient and assistive technologies and applications (sensors and wearables); and how social media and information networks give guidance to patients/clients, the public and other professionals.
  • Security technologies for patient/client portals to personal health records.
  • The value, data interchange structures, regulation, policies and procedures of robust interoperability between clinical systems and other solutions.
  • Decision support systems/guideline systems in use in the health domain (from individual to population level).
  • Digital solutions and processes to reduce digital illiteracy and improve health literacy.

Technical and clinical skills

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will have a critical understanding of and be able to specify and discuss with clinicians, technical colleagues and solution providers any potential enhancements to functionality, interoperability, deployment of emerging technologies and new applications. They will be able to:

  • Specify existing and potential functionality for a function in their area of operation using a systematic and analytical agile approach, data modelling and formal procurement procedures.
  • Describe existing interacting applications in their area using formal data interchange structures, procedures and content necessary, using relevant standards and modelling processes.
  • Distinguish between the need for data to be collected as part of and for the purposes of clinical and care processes, quality assurance and clinical trials/research.
  • Input to the process of developing a clinical solution within the constraints of legal, regulatory and professional requirements.
  • Describe the processes necessary for collection, validation, assurance/audit, secure management and interpretation of data (privacy, confidentiality and physical backup) in direct operation in their area.
  • Lead a risk management exercise for a solution/upgrade in their area of work.
  • Provide scientific advice on legislative compliance in Health Informatics Science to colleagues, third parties and external agencies.
  • Develop strategies to enhance digital and health literacy.

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be expected to be able to give a full description of how operable systems in their area support clinical practice, and how to ensure that the clinical relevance of the health informatics science services is provided and how they should professionally work with them, and will be able to:

  • Explain to third parties the functionality and benefits of systems in day-to-day operation in their area.
  • Outline how emerging clinical solutions might benefit their area of operation; specify future clinical user needs, input to business case and process redesign proposals and have dialogue with potential vendors/solution providers.
  • Identify potential solutions to local clinical issues and critically assess those solutions through a robust evaluation of recommendations, considering key issues such as safety, quality, ethical use of clinical data, adherence to clinical protocols, and the handling of sensitive data.
  • Lead risk analyses, including clinical audit, safety assessment and information governance analysis; prepare, present and defend the recommendations; monitor the implementation and re- evaluate the impact of the changes made.

Clinical information

  • Promote new developments that enable patients to have improved and safer access to information about their clinical condition, care and treatment; using evidence and research findings to inform the response.

Clinical responsibilities

  • Introduce and critically evaluate measures to identify, actively manage and mitigate risk to patients in a selected clinical area, taking account of the protection and promotion of the interests of patients/clients, colleagues and the public.
  • Present the direct role that a health informatician can contribute in the management of complex patients, as part of a multiprofessional team, including assessment of the patient’s relevant history,developing an investigation strategy, interpreting results and agreeing a management and treatment plan in partnership with the patient, carers, medical staff and the rest of that multiprofessional team.
  • Assess the demand for evolving scientific services in your organisation, and present the health informatics component thereof with users, clinical colleagues and organisational managers.
  • Evaluate the relevant literature and other scientific sources and work with others to develop a scientific and business case for an informatics-based service improvement to your area, ensuring a clean, safe and secure environment, fitness for purpose, and a basis in national best practice.

Clinical leadership

  • Stimulate the provision of high-level health informatics scientific expertise to complex problems in their own area of specialist practice.
  • Ensure that clinical scientific services are delivered with a commitment to excellent informatics quality, safety, confidentiality, accountability, reliability, communication, and professional and managerial integrity.
  • Lead a clinical scientific department utilising a broad range of health informatics competence to empower a culture of continuous improvement, innovation and high-quality patient-focused health informatics scientific services that promote excellent patient outcomes, support patient involvement and engagement, and continually seek to improve the safety and quality of NHS clinical scientific services.
  • Collaborate with colleagues across organisational boundaries to develop, promote and participate in a multiprofessional approach to stimulating excellence in Health Informatics Science to contribute to high-quality patient care and management.

Professional practice

The Clinical Scientist in HSST will:

  • Critically reflect and apply in practice a range of clinical and communication skills as they work in partnership with the public, patients, clinicians, academics and other healthcare professionals.
  • Critically analyse the practice of Health Informatics, ensuring that regular review of research and evidence is undertaken so that adaptation to practice can be made in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Protect research data on conclusion of the project in order to defend any relevant publication and/or challenge to the research findings.

Attitudes and behaviours

This module has no attitude and behaviours information.


Code Title Action
HBI-1-3-20 Clinical Bioinformatics - Health Informatics [v1] View