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Public Health Informatics Demonstration Sites

NACCHO’s Public Health Informatics Model Practice Centers

People Working Together

In December 2008, NACCHO, with funding support from CDC, supported two health departments to participate in the Local Community Information Network Demonstration Project. The goal of the demonstration project was to transform and strengthen the capacities of and methods employed by LHDs to protect and improve the public''s health through health information exchange (HIE). The two LHDs selected were Kittitas County Public Health Department and the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

Kittitas County Public Health Department''s (KCPHD) goal was to merge into the existing HIE currently being used by primary care providers, labs, specialists, Kittitas Valley Community Hospital, local pharmacies and nursing homes. KCPHD conducted a baseline evaluation of healthcare providers'' views of involving local public health and followed this up after they became part of the system. The new connection allows physicians to electronically send reports of notifiable disease and will also allow KCPHD to send providers urgent health alerts. KCPHD now has electronic access to the information needed for investigating communicable diseases, which not only has sped up investigations, but also reduced the workload of staff in KCPHD and doctor''s offices.

The City of Milwaukee''s Health Department (MHD) project had two goals. The fist was to leverage the existing Wisconsin Health Information Exchange (WHIE) to provide evaluation metrics for the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, which was aimed at moving patients into medical homes. The second was to design a communicable disease management module that would improve the timeliness of communicable disease reporting and reduce the need for epidemiological follow up by both hospital infection control and public health agencies.

The results and findings produced by each site provide critical analysis of the social capital and business networks needed to develop HIE that improves public health services and the quality of care. Each site produced a tool that summarizes their project and includes useful lessons learned. Other LHDs interested in HIE specifically, or developing the social capital needed for implementing information systems, will find the tools helpful resources.

For more information on the Local Community Information Network Demonstration Project please contact Vanessa Holley at or 202-507-4239.