A qualitative study of health information technology in the Canadian public health systemReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 13:509

Global health


BackgroundAlthough the adoption of health information technology HIT has advanced in Canada over the past decade, considerable challenges remain in supporting the development, broad adoption, and effective use of HIT in the public health system. Policy makers and practitioners have long recognized that improvements in HIT infrastructure are necessary to support effective and efficient public health practice. The objective of this study was to identify aspects of health information technology HIT policy related to public health in Canada that have succeeded, to identify remaining challenges, and to suggest future directions to improve the adoption and use of HIT in the public health system.

MethodsA qualitative case study was performed with 24 key stakeholders representing national and provincial organizations responsible for establishing policy and strategic direction for health information technology.

ResultsIdentified benefits of HIT in public health included improved communication among jurisdictions, increased awareness of the need for interoperable systems, and improvement in data standardization. Identified barriers included a lack of national vision and leadership, insufficient investment, and poor conceptualization of the priority areas for implementing HIT in public health.

ConclusionsThe application of HIT in public health should focus on automating core processes and identifying innovative applications of HIT to advance public health outcomes. The Public Health Agency of Canada should develop the expertise to lead public health HIT policy and should establish a mechanism for coordinating public health stakeholder input on HIT policy.

KeywordsHealth information technology Electronic infrastructure Informatics Surveillance Public health Canada AbbreviationsCHICanada Health Infoway

EHRElectronic health record

HITHealth information technology

MUMeaningful use

ONCOffice of the National Coordinator

IHR 20052005 International health regulations

PHSIPOPublic Health Surveillance and Informatics Program Office.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-13-509 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Kate Zinszer - Robyn Tamblyn - David W Bates - David L Buckeridge

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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