207527 Understanding Public Health Informatics Competencies an Online, Web-based Survey Approach

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:10 AM

Chiehwen Ed Hsu, PhD, MS, MPH , Preventive Health Informatics and SpaTial Analysis (PHISTA) Lab, UT School of Health Information Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Rick A. Danko, DrPH , Centers for Program Coordination, Policy, and Innovation, Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX
Drew Johnson, MBA , Center for Infectious Diseases, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA
Ning Shang, PhD Student , Lab of Preventive Health Informatics and SpaTial Analysis (PHISTA Lab), UT School of Health Information Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
David Salako, Master Student , School of Health Information Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Jiunn-Jye Sheu, PhD, MSPH , Department of Health Education & Behavior, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
(1) Background: The literature suggests that there is a need of updated public health informatics (PHI) competencies regarding what public health should entail and what PHI practitioners or researchers agree upon, especially for mid-tier practitioners.

(2) Objective/Purpose: The present study seeks to revise and further understand a set of PHI competencies proposed by Council on Linkage in Public Health by surveying both practitioners and researchers on their perceptions, knowledge, and experiences of mid-tier practitioners and researchers working in public health. The sample was drawn mainly from APHA-HIIT group.

(3) Methods: We used a Web-Based Survey (WBS) method to meet objectives. We first developed a draft list of potential competency set by incorporating the competencies areas as provided by the Council on Linkage in Public Health and the proposed competencies by CDC Public Health Informatics Work Group. Nine sets of competency statements with 120 competency items, and demographic information of respondents were proposed for the WBS survey. The team pilot-tested the online survey instruments and revised it accordingly to incorporate the feedback from respondents in the pilot. The potential subjects were recruited from PH experts identified from 1) the Community of Science Website, first authors published in PHI field from, and 2) members of Health Informatics Information Technology (HIIT) group of American Public Health Association.

(4) Results: The results of the study summarize the practitioners and researchers' perceptions on competencies for mid-tier public health practitioners to perform their job effectively.

(5) Discussion/Conclusions: Available literature shows that expressed need remains for public health practitioner's job-specific informatics competency. Only when healthcare organizations properly identify public health informatics competency needs, public health practitioners can speed up the overall informatics skills while improving diversification for contribution across multiple settings.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe what public health competencies are for mid-tier PH practitioners. 2) Describe how online, web-based survey is applied and implemented in the public health research. 3) Evaluate what the informatics skills are needed for mid-tier public health practitioners.

Keywords: Health Care Workers, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for the planning and implementation of the research.
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.