National Center for Public Health Informatics

Public health surveillance and prevention efforts in the U.S. reflect the involvement of numerous health care providers and organizations. Government agencies such as the CDC often function as a hub for the collection, coordination, and communication of public health-related data. Common applications of public health IT to promote and improve the health of populations include (but are not limited to) biosurveillance, disease registries, and immunization tracking. The timely and appropriate implementation of these applications can have a significant impact on the ability of providers to deliver health care to the their patients, which, in turn, can have a profound effect on a community’s overall state of health and wellness. Consider the dire impact a SARS outbreak might have, for example, if patient diagnoses were not reported and shared regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Prepare for this Application as follows:

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  • Conduct a literature review of a specific application of health information technology in public health and locate an example in which the application was used to address a public health-related concern. (You might wish to begin by researching a particular surveillance program, disease outbreak, disease registry, prevention program, or other public health-related event, and then identify the technology involved in this activity.)
  • Find out how this application has impacted the public’s health. Learn also about any ways in which health care providers and organizations were involved in the use of this information technology.

Then write a 2-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Describe the specific application you selected and the ways in which it addresses a public health-related concern. Summarize the potential benefits to the public, as well as any possible drawbacks, arising from the use of this application.
  • Explain the role of hospitals and other health care organizations in contributing to or making use of this public health-related IT application.
  • Discuss other implications of this application for health care providers and organizations. How has it impacted (or might it impact) clinical or administrative practices in hospitals or other health care institutions? Provide a rationale for your response.

The Application is due by Friday 28, November 2014.

Your written assignments must follow APA guidelines. Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Essential Guide to APA Style for Ashford Students to ensure your in-text citations and reference list are correct.

Resources: The following articles depict a range of technological and administrative issues involved in reporting functions that health care organizations engage in, either voluntarily or by federal or state requirements. Several of the articles examine guidelines on meaningful use of IT, a key aspect of HITECH.

  • Article: DerGurahian, J. (2009). Focus on self-improvement: Technology-enabled collaborations helping hospitals improve infection control. Modern Healthcare39(6), 32. Retrieved from
  • Article: Evans, R. S., Abouzelof, R. H., Taylor, C. W., Anderson, V., Sumner, S., Soutter, S., Kleckner, R., & Lloyd, J. F. (2009). Computer surveillance of hospital-acquired infections: A 25 year update. AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings, 178–182. Retrieved from
  • Article: Fortin, J., & Zywiak, W. (2010). Beyond meaningful use: Getting meaningful value from IT. Healthcare Financial Management, 64(2), 54–59. Retrieved from
  • Article: Conn, J. (2010). Making it work. Modern Healthcare40(9), 26–3 0. Retrieved from
  • Article: Brown, B. (2010). 25 steps to meaningful use. Journal of Health Care Compliance12(3), 33–69. Retrieved from
  • Article: Weinstock, M. (2010). A snapshot: Defining meaningful use. Trustee63(4), 26–??? 27. Retrieved from
  • Article: Page, D. (2010). Data mining is vital as meaningful use looms. H&HN: Hospitals & Health Networks84(2), 10. Retrieved from
  • Article: Landon, B. E., & Normand, S. T. (2008). Performance measurement in the small office practice: Challenges and potential solutions. Annals of Internal Medicine148(5), 353–357. Retrieved from
  • Report: National Academy for State Health Policy. (2007). 2007 guide to state adverse event reporting systems (Publication No. 2007-301). State health policy survey report, 1(1). Retrieved from National Academy for State Health Policy website:

This report provides information on state reporting requirements. See Appendix A, in particular, as you prepare for this week’s Discussion assignment.


  • Website: CDC–NHSN
    This Web site provides information on the internet-based surveillance system that is managed by the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.
  • Website: CDC–National Center for Public Health Informatics
    The NCPHI is the public health-focused national center within the U.S. government’s CDC’s Coordinating Center for Health Information. NCPHI strives to advance the science of biomedical informatics in public health practice and to support the collaborative development of information systems for public health.

Optional Resources

  • Article:Hinman, A. R., & Ross, D. A. (2010). Immunization registries can be building blocks for national health information systems. Health Affairs, 29(4), 676–682. Retrieved from
  • Article:McNabb, S. J. N., Koo, D., Pinner, R., & Seligman, J. (2006). Informatics and public health at CDC. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 55, 25–28. Retrieved from
  • Article:Liu, D. (2009). Knowledge management mechanism as the foundation for structured reporting. Journal of Information Science & Technology6(3), 25–37. Retrieved from

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