263603 Analysis of local health department web sites: An opportunity to improve community wellness

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Pamela Aaltonen, RN, MS, PhDc , School of Nursing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Background: To assess the extent to which local health departments are embracing e-government as a strategy to modify interactions between the department and the population in its jurisdictions to improve the health of the community, an analysis of all local health department web sites in 6 Midwestern states in the United States was completed in 2008 and again in 2011.

Objectives/Purpose: Establish a baseline measure of quality constructs of connectivity, function, accessibility, currency, interactivity, and viability of local health department web sites with a follow-up assessment to consider movement related to these measures over a three-year period.

Methods: Direct observation of web sites (n = 260); descriptive study

Results: Characteristics of local health department web sites are reported using measures articulated by NACCHO in its periodic local health department profile. To what extent are LHDs using websites as a communication strategy and a means of facilitating interactions with the public and others with whom the health department conducts business is addressed. Discussion/Conclusions: Questions to be discussed during the session include: On what level is local e-government delivering timely, applicable information and services? How well positioned are local health departments to respond to sophisticated e-commerce user demands for a level of service and responsiveness to which they have become accustom? What challenges do LHDs face in maximizing use of available technology?

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

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate key findings related to the current level of sophistication of local health department web sites 2. Identify challenges facing local health departments in exploiting the use of the Internet through a web site interface 3. Explore futuristic uses of web sites to promote an informed, engaged citizenry

Keywords: Health Information Systems, Health Departments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed this study.
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.