Dr Karen Jean Day



I am a health informatician with a dream.

I was trained as a nurse and midwife, after which I did a BA in public health and health services management. My Masters was in managed care for people with long term health issues, and my PhD in Information Systems was about change management linked to health IT projects. I am now an academic, researching and teaching about health informatics.

My dream began when I was a disability rights activist in South Africa in the 1980s and 90s, when we began to change the world. My dream is now about giving a health informatics voice to people living with long term health issues. To achieve this dream, we need to build a health informatics competent workforce, turn the doctors' and nurses' computers to face their patients, and leverage technologies to deliver care where it counts – in our patients’ space, where amazing healthy things can happen.

Research | Current

What do employers want from health informaticians? 

In this study I am analysing job advertisements and interviews with health informaticians to find out what employers want from the health informatics workforce. I'm working in collaboration with Dr Kerryn Butler-Henderson and a student from the 2017-18 summer studentship programme. 

Examining how social media and pedagogy converge to engage digital students in learning a new discourse's language via a jargon buster

Undergraduate students are assumed to have digital skills to navigate life and their learning. I have developed a Jargon Buster exercise for undergraduate health informatics students to learn the language of health informatics. In collaboration with Dr Rebecca Grainger from Otago University and Dr Juanita Fernandes from Monash University we are analysing survey and online discussion posts to establish how well the Jargon Buster structure and process contribute to student learning. 

Storylines of Self-e-health

In this Grounded Theory study, I am interviewing people with long term health issues to explore how they choose and use information technologies for self-management of long term health issues. Join the conversation in my Facebook group if you want to contribute to the research. 

Teaching | Current

HLTHINFO 728, Principles in Health Informatics

HLTHINFO 723, Health Knowledge Management

POPLHLTH 303, Health Informatics.

HLTHINFO 722 and HLTHINFO 724, Special Topic. Some postgraduate students are interested in studying a specific topic and enrol in these guided self-study courses. To ensure that I am available to guide you, please email me with a description of your topic and why it is important for you to explore it through one of these special topic courses.

For enrolment enquiries contact FMHS@auckland.ac.nz.

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise students who are conducting health informatics research for their Honours, Masters or PhD. My preferred topic is related to how patients use aspects of their medical records, e.g. patient portals, PHRs and apps, for selfcare of longterm conditions. I prefer to use Grounded Theory or Action Research as the methodological approach to my research, but am open to students doing other forms of research (preferrably qualitative). Here is a list of the students I have supervised. 



Year completed


Saswata Ray

2020 (expected completion)

In-depth exploration of different food related interactions and communications on social media with inspection about its understanding and awareness among young adults

Janet Liang


How junior doctors diagnose critical illness and act on its diagnostic implications

Michelle Soakell-Ho


Towards business intelligence in preoperative care: Choice, chance and communication (I was co-supervisor)

Nouran Ragaban


Using artefacts for policy design and national implementation of health information technology

Elica Mehr


Developing a theory regarding the leadership required for disruptive innovation resulting in paradigm shifting change on the health system

Priyesh Tiwari


Empowering older patients to engage in self-care: Designing an interactive robotic device (I was co-supervisor)

Helen Gu


Unleashing the power of human genetic variation knowledge: New Zealand stakeholder perspectives (I was co-supervisor)

Masters thesis


Year completed


Ping-Cheng Wei


Clinical Information Modelling for Tobacco Smoking Summary

Tyler Douglas


Establishing the clinical usefulness of an emergency department information system

Arohaina Nimmo


Hillbilly CME & technology in the sticks: The New Zealand practitioners’ experience

Julie Lucas


Telemedicine use in West Coast District Health Board emergency department: Barriers and opportunities to improve utilisation (I was co-supervisor)

Bernadette Peni (Research portfolio)


A Pacific perspective of online mental health information

Myriam Soto Lorca


Laboratory Errors: Lessons from applied Information Technology Systems to improve patient safety

Hadeel Al-Nawab


Prescription pattern-based risk assessment. The development of T-LIGHT. A research portfolio

Nouran Ragaban


Strategic health information systems: Examining evidence based policy and ‘meaningful use’

Richard Bevan


Towards person-centredness in chronic illness. Redesigning the system of health to include continuity of care

Abhishekh Gotadki


Prisms of people, position, process and partnership. A case study of key influences on collaborative leadership practice in an intersectoral coalition for health in New Zealand

Dissertations (Masters and Honours)


Year completed


Norina Gasteiger (Honours)


Telehealth: Rethinking health literacy and engagement with Maori mothers

May Lin Tye (Honours)


School-based Telemedicine: Perceptions about a telemedicine model of care

Celia Taber (Masters)


Exploring information technology to improve the quality of consent in clinical research. A meta-narrative literature review

Siobhan Mills (Honours)


Patients' attitudes about their ability to access and use their personal health records

Joahnna Esguerra (Masters)


Why do doctors recommend or not recommend online therapies for depression?

Kim Letford (Masters)


Does the patient portal in the National Shared Care Planning Program’s technology solution contribute to patient self-management of their chronic condition?

Li Tian (Masters)


Systematic literature review of electronic referral

Liz Schoff (Masters)


From pilot to prime time: A literature review of pilot implementations in health information technology

Grace Shaw (Honours)


Utilisation of personal health records to support patients in the context of diabetes: A systematic review using the meta-narrative review method

Matt Glasgow (Masters)


Physician leadership in clinical information systems projects: A systematic literature review

Sam Emmanuel (Honours)


Social media’s role in facilitating health care interaction – literature review

Ismail Shafeeu (Masters)


Examining the role of mobile phones in self-care of adolescents with diabetes


Areas of expertise

My preferred methodologies are Grounded Theory and Action Research (not necessarily combined). My research topics include:

- patient portals, personal health records, and the use of wearables and phone apps for self-care of long term health issues

- hackathons for self-care

- telehealth

- online learning

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Board member of Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ) - 2017 to date

Chair of Web Presence working group for the Australasian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) - 2015 to date

Postgraduate Board of Studies of the School of Population Health - 2008 to date

Undergraduate Board of Studies of the School of Population Health - 2017 to date

Director of postgraduate programme in Health Informatics - 2012 to date

Pathway Champion of Health Information and Analytics pathway in Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) - 2012 to date

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Day, K. J., & Song, N. (2017). Attitudes and concerns of doctors and nurses about using a translation application for in-hospital brief interactions with Korean patients. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 24 (3), 262-267. 10.14236/jhi.v24i3.916
  • Day, K., Humphrey, G., & Cockcroft, S. (2017). How do the design features of health hackathons contribute to participatory medicine?. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 21, 1-20. 10.3127/ajis.v21i0.1383
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gayl Humphrey
  • Day, K., Kenealy, T. W., & Sheridan, N. F. (2016). Should we embed randomized controlled trials within action research: Arguing from a case study of telemonitoring. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 16 (70)10.1186/s12874-016-0175-6
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Timothy Kenealy
  • Taber, C., Warren, J., & Day, K. (2016). Improving the quality of informed consent in clinical research with information technology. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 10.3233/978-1-61499-712-2-135
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33390
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jim Warren
  • Day, K., Millner, S., & Johnson, H. (2016). How nurses use telehealth to support health transitions of older adults. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 10.3233/978-1-61499-712-2-23
  • Nohr, C., Wong, M. C., Turner, P., Almond, H., Parv, L., Gilstad, H., ... Marcilly, R. (2016). Citizens' Access to Their Digital Health Data in Eleven Countries - A Comparative Study.. Studies in health technology and informatics.
  • Gu, Y., Orr, M., Warren, J., Humphrey, G., Day, K., Tibby, S., & Fitzpatrick, J. (2013). Why a shared care record is an official medical record. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 126 (1384), 109-117. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jim Warren, Gayl Humphrey
  • Gu, Y., & Day, K. (2013). Propensity of people with long-term conditions to use personal health records. Stud Health Technol Inform, 188, 46-51.


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 507 - Bldg 507
Level 3, Room 3001
New Zealand

Web links