- An Informatics Agenda for Public Health
- Public Health Informatics Fellows Training Program
- Public Health Faces: Public Health Informatics Conference Attendees
- New Public Health
- InformationLinks: Connecting Public Health with Health Information Exchanges
- Health Information Technology in the United States
- Measuring Adoption and Use of Health Information Technology to Reduce Health Care Disparities and Improve Quality
- Health Information & the Law
Dates of Program: May 2006–January 2013
Field of Work: Public health informatics
Problem Synopsis: State and local public health agencies need access to timely, accurate, and appropriate information to respond effectively to a range of public health threats. In 2006, when Common Ground was launched, many agencies lacked the ability to collect, store, analyze, and share the information needed for a coordinated response to disease prevention and control and large-scale health crises.
Public health agencies explore three questions collaboratively to define the requirements for effective public health information systems: How do we do our work now? How should we do our work? How can an information system support our work?
Synopsis of the Work: Fifteen agencies received informatics capacity grants, relatively modest awards (up to $30,000) that allowed them to analyze their business processes related to a specific public health problem and create a plan for future information management needs. Sixteen larger grants (up to $600,000) were for requirements development projects that enabled health departments to define user requirements for information systems focused on chronic disease prevention and control or public health preparedness.
A follow-up RWJF grant allowed the Public Health Informatics Institute to help prepare public health agencies to make effective use of the growing volume of electronic health data submitted by providers. The “meaningful use” provisions of federal legislation passed in 2009 increased Medicare and Medicaid payments to providers who adopt electronic health records and generate specified data.
Key Results: Thirty-one state and local public health agencies throughout the country improved their overall performance as well as their information system capacity by applying the Collaborative Requirements Development Methodology (CRDM), a quality improvement approach adapted from industry by the Public Health Informatics Institute.
The Public Health Informatics Institute and an evaluation team from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago reported that:
- Two workgroups identified essential public health business processes, 10 for preparedness and 11 for chronic diseases and developed requirements for a subset of those processes.
- Most grantee agencies reported that Common Ground had increased their understanding of business-process analysis and almost all said it had improved processes within their health departments.
- The preparedness team published an article in the American Journal of Public Health describing the preparedness framework: “The Common Ground Preparedness Framework: A Comprehensive Description of Public Health Emergency Preparedness.”
Under the follow-up grant, the institute worked with partners to define requirements for an electronic disease surveillance system, and published them in Redesigning Public Health Surveillance in an eHealth World.
Common Ground tools are being used help public health agencies prepare for tsunami of data
RWJF Scholar examines neighborhood-based death rates from opiate-based painkiller overdoses, compared with heroin overdose deaths.
RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Jennifer Bellot writes about losing her grandmother to complications from a medical error.
This month the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published a special issue of its magazine devoted to food.
Learn how The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is dedicated to building a culture of health in Risa Lavizzo-Mourey's 2014 annual message.
Team members, grantees, and guests discuss breakthrough ideas that will allow us to move toward solving challenges in health care.
Adverse working conditions contribute substantially to the risk of depression for working-age adults, according to new research from a team ...
The reconvened Commission to Build a Healthier America will provide new guidance in three key areas: early childhood, healthy communities, a...
Around the country, print, broadcast, and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)...
The RWJF DataHub tracks state-level data, and allows visitors to customize and visualize facts and figures.
Health care may have some of the nation’s most promising career opportunities. But it also promises a lot of stress to go along with those j...
The Health and Medical Care Archives at the University of Michigan's Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research is the of...
Hilary Levey Friedman, author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture, writes about youth sports.