HM 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Electronic Health Record, Public Health Informatics, Health Informatics

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26 Feb 2020
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INTRODUCTION TO MODULE 3 PUBLIC HEALTH DATA AND
COMMUNICATIONS
In this module we will focus on public health data and health
communications. These are very broad topics -- you could have entire courses about
them. Health informatics falls under the core disciplines of biostatistics and
epidemiology, and health communications falls under social and behavioral health and
includes methods of collecting, compiling and presenting health information and
different types of public health data.
Health communications can include interpersonal communication about health, and
health communication about health issues to the public. In this module we will focus on
public health informatics (PHI) and electronic health records.
PHI can be defined as “the systematic application of information and computer science
and technology to public health practice, research and learning,” which supports "public
health goals and decision-making and defines the 'how and why' science behind the
technological tool or approach" (White, 2013).
Public health data is a form of health information. Your text presents the 6 different
types of public health data as the six "S's" to help you remember them:
Single case or small series
Statistics
Surveys
Self-reporting
Sentinel monitoring
Syndromic surveillance
Each has its uses, advantages and disadvantages. John Snow, the father of
epidemiology, is well known for his early use of public health data to trace the source of
cholera in London in 1854 which you’ll learn more about in this module’s readings.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) also called Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are an
increasingly important source of public health data. The Health Information Technology
for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Stimulus package that was introduced after the 2008
market crash), encouraged nationwide adoption of EHRs. Beginning in 2012, eligible
hospitals and health care providers who “adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate
meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology” can receive incentive
payments from Medicare and Medicaid as part of the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act. What is “meaningful use?”
“Meaningful use is using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to:
Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
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