The Information Sciences and Telecommunications (IST) programs at the School of Information Sciences (SIS) and the Health Information Management (HIM) program at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) in the University of Pittsburgh propose to collaboratively develop integrated curriculum on Security Assured Healthcare Informatics (SAHI). The key goal is to develop multiple graduate level SAHI tracks with curriculum components focused on Healthcare IT (HIT) within the IST programs, and a track focused on Healthcare Security and Privacy (HS&P) within the HIM program. We will also develop a SAHI 4+1 BS+MS FastTrack prgram and create a curriculum that fosters research and doctoral studies in SAHI areas. Our curriculum will prepare high caliber workforce towards contributing to the national needs for cybersecurity and healthcare IT professionals.

We propose the following key project goals.

  1. Curriculum Development and Changes in SIS and HIM Graduate Programs: We will develop new SAHI and HS&P tracks, respectively, in the graduate IST and HIM programs. Towards this, we will enhance several existing courses to incorporate HIT security and privacy (S&P) modules in the existing Security Assured Information Systems (SAIS) tracks, and several enhanced SAIS courses in the HIM curriculum. Five new SAHI focused courses will also be developed. In SIS, we will also develop Certificates of Advanced Studies for SAHI (CAS-SAHI).
  2. Curriculum Development and Changes in BSIS Program: We will enhance our BSIS curriculum to provide HIT S&P curriculum through course enhancements. We will create a new SAHI track by modifying the existing Networks and Security (N&S) track. We also propose to extend our existing BSIS track to create a SAHI 4+1 FastTrack program that allows a student to earn BS and MS degrees in 5 years. Courses in BS-HIM will be enhanced with S&P modules.
  3. Labs and testbed: We propose to develop several lab modules and an integrated research testbed to support hands-on educational experiences and active research in SAHI areas.
  4. Training modules for Securing Research Information: We plan to develop modules that will be geared towards training of researchers in handling research information, in collaboration with Pitt's Institutional Review Board (IRB); in particular, research using Healthcare data has S&P concerns.

Intellectual Merit

The proposed work will result in novel curriculum that comprehensively integrates Health Informatics with IA and provide BS, MS and PhD level curriculum enhancements, and a development of integrated facility to foster educational and research activities in SAHI areas. The proposed curriculum will enhance existing courses and include new advanced SAHI courses that will address emerging demands for expertise in HIT and Cybersecurity. The PIs have a long history of excellent collaborations in both significant educational and research activities related to IA and HIM areas and have established partnerships with community colleges, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pitt's IRB and Pitt's RFID center. The institutional support is very high because the IA area is a signature area in SIS and 4+1 FastTrack is one of the highest priority of the SIS. Similarly, IA area is a significant priority for the HIM program. HIM labs and LERSAIS facilities have well established integrated research and educational components in HIM and IA areas, respectively, for implementing the proposed lab exercises. NSF SFS students will be engaged in the labs development efforts.

Broader Impacts

The SAHI curriculum will be available to all students in the department of HIM, which has a 1:3 male-female ratio, and the SIS. The outreach activities include module delivery to high school students in summer and diversity students through a very active i3 program at SIS, and to a community college. The 4+1 FastTrack BS-MS program will allow fast production of the professionals that have the highest credentials in IA and HIT areas. Through HIM's highly female populated program the SAHI curriculum is poised to produce a huge number of female and minority students with focus in SAHI areas. The results (curriculum and lab modules) will be disseminated through dedicated websites (some as e-learning modules for general community) and conference publications, and outreach to high school and NVCC students.