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Key Elements for Successful Integrated Health Information Systems: Lessons From the States

Wild, Ellen L. MPH; Hastings, Terry M. MA; Gubernick, Ruth MPH; Ross, David A. ScD; Fehrenbach, S. Nicole MPP

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: November 2004 - Volume 10 - Issue - p S36–S47
Original Articles
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The Genetic Services Branch, Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Services and Resources Administration has provided funding to state health departments to integrate their newborn dried blood-spot screening programs with other early child health information systems since 1999. In 2001, All Kids Count conducted site visits to these grantees to identify and describe best practices in planning, developing, and implementing their integration projects. The site visits were organized around 9 key elements considered critical to the success of an information systems integration project: leadership, project governance, project management, stakeholder involvement, organizational and technical strategy, technical support and coordination, financial support and management, policy support and evaluation. Best practices for each of the key elements and 5 lessons learned were documented in Integration of Newborn Screening and Genetic Service Systems with Other Maternal & Child Health Systems: A Sourcebook for Planning and Development. The lessons learned are overarching conclusions that agencies should consider when planning and implementing integrated information systems. This article briefly describes the key elements, their best practices as implemented by states, and the lessons learned.

This article describes the key elements that are considered critical to the success of an information systems integration project, their best practices as implemented by states, and the lessons learned from site visits.

Director of Programs, All Kids Count, Public Health Informatics Institute, Task Force for Child Survival and Development, Decatur, Georgia (Wild)

Communications Director, All Kids Count, Public Health Informatics Institute, Task Force for Child Survival and Development, Decatur, Georgia (Hastings)

Public Health Consultant, Cherry Hill, New Jersey (Gubernick)

Director, All Kids Count, Public Health Informatics Institute, Task Force for Child Survival and Development, Decatur, Georgia (Ross)

Senior Research and Evaluation Associate, All Kids Count, Public Health Informatics Institute, Task Force for Child Survival and Development, Decatur, Georgia (Fehrenbach)

Corresponding author: Ellen L. Wild, MPH, All Kids Count, Public Health Informatics Institute, Task Force for Child Survival and Development, 750 Commerce Drive, Suite 400, Decatur, GA 30030. (e-mail: ewild@phii.org)

The authors thank the teams from each of the SPRANS grantee states that All Kids Count visited to identify and document best practices in the integration of newborn dried blood-spot screening systems with other early child health information systems. The seven states visited were: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah. The teams interviewed at each of these sites provided invaluable information on the planning, development, and implementation of their integrated child health information systems. The authors also thank the Genetic Services Branch, Maternal Child Health Bureau of the Health Services and Research Administration for their support on this project.

Preparation of this article was assisted by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.