The Benefits of Using IT in Public Health

When it comes to public health, information technology gives us tools and resources to connect data and utilize information in ways that never before were possible. The applications for IT in the realm of public health are almost limitless.

Defining Public Health

The World Health Organization defines public health as “all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole.” Public health encompasses efforts to monitor the health of communities and populations, create policies that address issues, and help make the right care accessible to the communities and populations that need it.

Technology and Benefits

The next generation of Health IT is here; providers and agencies need to know both how to participate in the system and also how to leverage IT in supporting their own public health initiatives. The global public health landscape features a complex network of data and technologies. Evolving technology capabilities coupled with national and international public health policies and initiatives are leading us down a path that will produce a tighter web of interconnected information and allow all stakeholders—including patients, doctors, administrators, epidemiologists, politicians, and policymakers—to make more informed decisions in less time.

Public health is not just at the community level, but at the regional, national, and international levels as well. Health IT features robust data surveillance that can help track incidences of disease and diagnoses and identify in real-time the trends—at multiple levels—and opportunities for preventative action. Health IT promotes healthy communities and populations by improving the quality of care, accelerating the timing of delivery of medical services, reducing the cost of care, and increasing availability of coverage.

Health IT connects communities and populations in an endless number of ways never before imagined. With electronic dashboards for monitoring trends, stakeholders can generate the key reports they need on demand. And in addition to helping with the timeliness of reporting, Health IT also helps ensure accuracy of input data. Open architecture allows for the collection and integration of data from a wide variety of sources, offering the opportunity to share information with key stakeholders using standardized protocols that can be implemented using different programming languages and operating systems. Open source helps leverage the innovation of anyone who uploads materials.

Successful Health IT implementation gives the right information to the right people at the right time. Real-time information allows for critical on-the-fly analysis and decision-making.

To learn more about Offspring Solutions’ Health IT experience and resources, call us today at (703) 227-7752.

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