Tools to support decision-making in healthcare

Advanced certificate - optional module
20 credits, total study time: 200 hours (17 weeks)

Better data and better use of that data are vital in a complex healthcare system needing to deliver more for less year on year. Data is used to improve services, better understand patient needs, support new payment approaches and to plan, monitor and manage performance. To determine the best course of action and what is best for the patient, both for individual and organisational decisions, high quality data is needed and needs to be used. All decisions should be well-informed - for example, at what point should a service be ‘switched off’? Is a service or an organisation operationally and financially sustainable? Which pathway of care is best for this person?

This module will enable the learner to examine tools to support decision-making in terms of information, data, performance indicators and benchmarking – the NHS is underpinned by a plethora of data, not all of which is used to maximum advantage.

Module content

  • Information systems and how they can support decision-making in healthcare
  • Primary sources of comparative data and other valuable information
  • Compiling and presenting information
  • Performance indicators and benchmarking
  • Investment/ disinvestment process and governance
  • Business planning tools
  • Ethical and professional considerations
  • Negotiating and managing internal and external relationships.
Learning outcomes
  • Critically analyse the information systems and information available within a local health/ health and social care economy
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of information systems in supporting decision-making in healthcare
  • Compare alternative approaches to presenting information to management groups within a local health/ health and social care economy
  • Critically analyse the use of performance indicators and benchmarking approaches and their effectiveness in improving organisation performance, providing assurance and managing risk
  • Assess the effectiveness of governance methods in supporting investments and disinvestments
  • Evaluate the importance of risk and uncertainty in decision-making and their use in improving healthcare/ health and social care decisions


  • Learners will complete a 4,000 word portfolio-based assessment centred on a case study

Making finance work in the NHS 
Core module


Personal effectiveness and leadership 
Optional module


Comparative healthcare systems
Optional module


Managing the healthcare business
Optional module

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