RHIOs and PublicHealth

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Public Health and Personal Healthcare -- A Continuum

For years, Public Health and Personal Healthcare have existed in two clear-cut silos. With the exceptions of public health reporting or public health alerts, Public Health has generally been seen as an entirely 导热油炉 导热油锅炉 导热油锅炉 different business practice from healthcare. Everyone is grateful when Public Health focuses on prevention and education to reduce the disease burden in the population, but try to get public health reports or other necessary information out of a healthcare system already overburdened with redundant reporting and documentation for reimbursement purposes. Public Health data needs are quickly added to the list for the interface engineers of the providers, but the priority tends to be right down there with all of the other non-mission-critical priorities. 导热油炉 导热油锅炉 导热油锅炉

In the Long Beach Network for Health discussions, however, it has become increasingly clear that, in its correct placement, Personal Healthcare is sandwiched by Public Health. In a really effective healthcare system, Public Health's preventive and educational activities would start while a child is in the womb with Maternal and Child Health activities (maternal nutrition, healthy behaviors, etc.), continue into Personal Healthcare as direct care for a condition or health issue is necessary, and then flow through into Public Health research to inform the next round of prevention and education measures.

If you view the healthcare world in the above terms, it becomes immediately apparent that Public Health may be the greatest beneficiary of any health information exchange effort. Public Health should be knocking down the doors of providers in local health jurisdictions to talk about win-win strategies for solving everyone's needs.

Public Health may also provide positive value input into the titanic "RHIO business case" efforts. The state of public health information systems is possibly even more fragmented than those of healthcare providers. Millions of dollars are spent annually on systems for Public Health reporting and disaster response.

I have a working theory that the information available to Public Health would be much more relevant, timely, and accurate if: 1) Specialized homeland security grant funding for public health were applied to the implementation of working NHIN models in each state and 2) a portion (25% to 50% is my guess) of the aggregated maintenance costs for the individual silo public health reporting/tracking systems were re-allocated to support the maintenance costs of the jurisdiction's HIE infrastructure. And, incidentally, if Public Health providers HIE to healthcare providers, the priority of Public Health's technology and/or infrastructure requests will become top priorities for their community partners.

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