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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181abbec8
Article

Integrating Child Health Information Systems in Public Health Agencies

Bara, Debra MA; McPhillips-Tangum, Carol MPH; Wild, Ellen L. MPH; Mann, Marie Y. MD, MPH

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Abstract

Public health agencies at state and local levels are integrating information systems to improve health outcomes for children. An assessment was conducted to describe the extent to which public health agencies are currently integrating child health information systems (CHIS). Using online technology information was collected, to assess completed and planned activities related to integration of CHIS, maturity of these systems, and factors that influence decisions by public health agencies to pursue integration activities. Of the 39 public health agencies that participated, 18 (46%) reported already integrating some or all of their CHIS, and 13 (33%) reported to be planning to integrate during the next 3 years. Information systems most commonly integrated include Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI), immunization, vital records, and Newborn Dried Bloodspot Screening (NDBS). Given the high priority that has been placed on using technology to improve health status in the United States, the emphasis on expanding the capability for the electronic exchange of health information, and federal support for electronic health records by 2014, public health agencies should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to develop, implement, and maintain integrated CHIS to facilitate the electronic exchange of health information with the clinical healthcare sector.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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