An Informatics Agenda for Public Health

Summarized Recommendations from the 2011 AMIA PHI Conference

Ten years after the first-ever meeting of the Public Health Informatics Congress of the American Medical Informatics Association, stakeholders from both public health and health informatics met in 2011 to update the national agenda for public health informatics.

Using a facilitated process, meeting participants self-selected to focus on one of five areas—1) technical framework; 2) research and evaluation; 3) ethics; 4) education, professional training and workforce development; or (5) sustainability—reviewing progress made over the last decade and offering recommendations for an updated agenda.

From the 62 recommendations that the participants identified, three key themes emerged in 2011. The need to:

  1. Enhance communication and information sharing within the public health informatics community.
  2. Improve the consistency of public health informatics through common public health terminologies, rigorous evaluation methodologies and competency-based training.
  3. Promote more effective coordination and leadership that will champion and drive the field forward.

While much progress has been made, more work needs to be done. Both the public health and the health informatics communities can gain much by working together to use these recommendations to further advance the application of information technology to improve health.