Leading public health practice though health informatics and technology : a guidebook for state health officials
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Leading public health practice though health informatics and technology : a guidebook for state health officials

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      Trends with new and emerging infectious disease, as well as the ever-increasing prevalence of chronic disease, greatly increase the need for advanced knowledge combined with an expanded, more effective use of new technologies. Health Informatics and Technology provides new ways of collecting, sharing, and using data for analysis and visualization. Electronic reporting for surveillance purposes is one application of Health Informatics and Technology that can benefit both public health and healthcare.

      High-level legal issues, funding, sustainability and maintenance, collaboration, and governance are just a few of the crucial considerations that a state health official must be aware of when embarking on, designing, or leading a Health Informatics and Technology project. This guidebook serves as a tool to assist state public health leaders as they embark on developing the data Health Informatics and Technology systems necessary to achieve excellence in population health outcomes. Using electronic case reporting as the primary example, the guidebook will help state health officials lead their state toward national public health data standards and solutions that not only serve public health’s mission and goals, but will be integrated and function along with healthcare and other data systems to provide a 360-degree view of population health.

      In the United States, state and local laws and regulations mandate that healthcare providers report incidence of certain diseases and conditions to public health. These reportable conditions are then reported up to CDC. Complete, timely disease case reporting is important to conducting public health surveillance. Unfortunately, these reports are often slow or incomplete and place a substantial burden of work on healthcare providers and public health agencies. The future of surveillance is electronic case reporting. Electronic case reporting is the process of electronically reporting cases of public health importance from clinically-based electronic health records to public health agencies for integration into disease surveillance system.

      This guidebook was supported by cooperative agreement, U38OT000161, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ASTHO would like to thank its partners at the CDC Office of Public Health Scientific Services (OPHSS) and Laura Conn, Acting Associate Director for Surveillance in the Health Information Technology and Surveillance Office at OPHSS for their enormous contributions and guidance on this project. ASTHO would also like to recognize the contributions of Roland Gamache, Population Health Informatics, Kelley Chester, C3 Informatics. The contents of this guidebook are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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