A qualitative study of health information technology in the Canadian public health system

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A qualitative study of health information technology in the Canadian public health system

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Title: A qualitative study of health information technology in the Canadian public health system
Author: Zinszer, Kate; Tamblyn, Robyn; Bates, David W; Buckeridge, David L

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Zinszer, Kate, Robyn Tamblyn, David W Bates, and David L Buckeridge. 2013. A qualitative study of health information technology in the canadian public health system. BMC Public Health 13: 509.
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Abstract: Background: Although 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. Methods: A 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. Results: Identified 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. Conclusions: The 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.
Published Version: doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-509
Other Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665446/pdf/
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11357467
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