204749 Omaha System partnerships: Leveraging capacity for program evaluation through research-practice collaboration

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Karen A. Monsen, PhD RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
David M. Radosevich, PhD, RN , Health Policy/Mgmt, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Amy B. Lytton, MS, RN , Program Evaluation, St. Paul - Ramsey County Public Health, St. Paul, MN
Madeleine J. Kerr, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
In recent years, local public health agencies have expended considerable resources on purchasing and implementing electronic health records and information systems. Administrators and decision makers are currently seeking to maximize the impact of these systems, and use the data generated by practitioners in their routine documentation of client services. Information system data are complex, and the evaluation questions are challenging. Expertise in managing and analyzing the data for program evaluation can be leveraged through partnerships between local public health agencies and informatics researchers. One public health agency sought to collaborate with a research-intensive university to create a mutually beneficial practice-research partnership. The goals of the public health agency and university were to use information to support rigorous program evaluation and evidence-based practice. In the process of meeting these goals, the research team committed to disseminating their findings to support informatics efforts in local public health settings, and to advance the state of the science in public health practice. The research team employs existing de-identified datasets from the county's information system, which generates standardized Omaha System data. The research projects address relevant questions posed by public health agency evaluators and staff. For example, the public health agency must ensure data quality for program evaluation. Therefore, one of the team's first projects was to assess the reproducibility and validity of selected Omaha System scales. The benefits of this partnership are many. First, the local public health department benefits from this partnership by adding no-cost capacity in data management and analysis. Second, the university researchers and students benefit from access to rich clinical data and clinical expertise in data interpretation. Finally, county residents benefit from the public health agency's commitment to excellence in providing evidence based services.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss applications of local public health informatics datasets for research and program evaluation.

Keywords: Information System Integration, Public Health Informatics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have content expertise as informatics researcher and will present it.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.