Across the nation, public health practitioners are in the midst of revolutionary change in the abundance and availability of public health data and information. Driven largely by Meaningful Use and Affordable Care Act incentives, healthcare professionals and hospitals are rapidly integrating electronic health record (EHR) technologies into clinical and administrative practices. While these health information technologies (HIT) have already shown promise in improving the effectiveness of core public health services (e.g., childhood immunization rates, outbreak detection and control, real-time awareness of the health impacts of emergencies or disasters), their continued success requires that public health priorities and needs are fully communicated and known to policymakers in national conversations regarding information technology development and use for public health.
As such, JPHIT developed three recommendations for actions that public health agencies and stakeholders must take to realize the full public health potential of this data revolution and significant federal investments in HIT. The recommendations provide a framework for discussing the importance of, and advocating for, investment in and development and implementation of HIT.