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An introduction to data and information in health and social care
An introduction to data and information in health and social care

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An introduction to data and information in health and social care


Computers are used to find, store, process and share data and information. The World Wide Web, more commonly known as the internet, is an example of a vast store of information, which can be searched.

The internet and the web: what’s the difference?

People sometimes confuse the internet and the World Wide Web.

The internet refers to the physical interconnection of large numbers of smaller data communications networks to form a huge, publicly accessible ‘network of networks’. Thus the internet carries electronic mail (email), hosts chat rooms and bulletin boards, enables the transfer of files, and is the physical basis for supporting the World Wide Web.

The web is the collection of linked data stored on the internet which is accessed using a browser.

This material will introduce you to what a web browser is and how to use one. The use of search engines to find information more effectively on the web will also be demonstrated. This course looks at how data is transformed into information and relates the topics of data and information to the computer and its impact on health and social care planning, treatment and decision making. These are of fundamental interest to those participating in the delivery of services and will play an ever-increasing part in patient and client care. One needs only to look at the notion of track and trace for control of COVID-19, and the scope and range of technologies that have been deployed to capture and utilise data.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Computing & IT [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and Health and Social Care.