245806 A Web-based Personal Health Information System for Runaway and Homeless Youth

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:30 AM

Michelle Dang, RN, MSN, PhD(c) , Division of Nursing, California State University Sacramento, Sacramento, CA
Melissa Binger , Healthshack Program, WIND Youth Services, Sacramento, CA
Maria Catrina Virata, MPH , Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD , Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Background and Issues: Runaway and homeless youth (RHY) face multiples challenges to health care access such as lack of a medical home and discontinuity of care. These barriers lead to gaps in preventive services. In addition, RHY often lack acceptable forms of identification and a safe place to keep important documents such as birth certificates and immunization records that would facilitate health care access and continuity of care. Description: In partnership with former homeless youth, agency staff, and health professionals, a youth-focused, youth-designed Personal Health Information System (PHIS) program called Healthshack was created. This program empowers RHY with tools to manage their own health care and navigate the health care system through the use of a private and secure online PHIS that the youth themselves control. It also provides each youth with a medical identification card. The program is housed in a community center for RHY and utilizes public health nursing students to enroll youth in the program. Lessons Learned: Youth's involvement in the program was key to its appeal and success. Healthshack's collaboration with the nursing program supports long-term sustainability and provides a unique public health nursing experience for nursing students to work directly with a vulnerable and marginalized population. Recommendations: A PHIS could be a valuable program for other marginalized groups such as foster or systems-based youth. Even though Healthshack is a self-managed health information system, it is critical to have professionals who understand health care systems and health prevention to implement the program.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the use of a personal health information system to reduce healthcare barriers for homeless youth. Evaluate the effectiveness of having public health nursing students participate in the implementation of a personal health information system.

Keywords: Information Technology, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: because I am part of the UC Davis research team on this project and I am responsible for the research evaluation part of the project.
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.