245507 Public health information technology in the local health department

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:42 PM

Aylin Drabousky, MA , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Scott Frank, MD, MS , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Background: Increasing evidence demonstrates health information technology improves quality of health, health care, and public health. Rapid growth in Public Health Information Technology (PHIT) highlights the need to train local health department (LHD) workforce to effectively manage, utilize, evaluate, and innovate with these developing technology tools at multiple levels of expertise. Purpose: Investigate the current state of PHIT in Ohio local health departments (LHD), including 1) current capacity; 2) current applications; 3) perceived needs; 4) perceived value; 5) best PHIT practices; and, 6) receptivity to an expanded role for PHIT. Methods: This public health practice based research network (PBRN) project utilizes an infrastructure of academic public health programs, local health departments, state health department, and professional public health organizations to administer an original online survey expanded from items previously addressed on in a national survey. Results: The results will be used to describe existing LHD utilization of PHIT and identify sources of practice variation based on agency funding, personnel, jurisdictional, and structural differences. Results will focus on LHD use of PHIT for health communication; community assessment; task completion (field and desk); performance measurement; quality improvement. Both need and capacity will be assessed, including facilitators of and barriers to PHIT use; receptivity to further training; and identification of PHIT best practices across the state. Conclusions: Results will be utilized to support rational decision making about improving LHD use of PHIT. Anticipated findings may result in an intervention to improve resources and skills necessary for PHIT in through the same PBRN infrastructure.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Recognize practice variation in public health information technology use based on local health department funding, personnel, jurisdictional, and structural characteristics. 2.List the most frequently utilized public health information technology functions in local health departments. 3.Describe local health department perceptions of need and capacity for public health information technology, including receptivity to further training. 4.Identify best practice applications of public health information technology in local health departments.

Keywords: Information Technology, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the grants and research under which this study was conducted.
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.